Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Missing Mimi

lala w/her mimi

Please indulge me while I mope. I am (hopefully) at the end of a cold. Evan has the cold, as does Lauren who hasn't been sleeping well, which means little rest for me. I'm listening to Tobin sniff and cough as I write this, so I'm assuming he's coming down with it too. And over the weekend my mom flew back home to Florida. It's never easy living 700 miles from my parents but it feels especially hard right after a visit. I'm really missing her company and assistance.

The silver lining in living so far from family is that it makes our time together all the more meaningful and precious. And we just had a particularly lovely visit from Mimi for a luxurious ten days. Thank you, Dad, for sparing and sharing her that long. We missed you!

Mimi arrived on a Thursday morning. After dropping Tobin off at school, the babies and I headed to the airport to retrieve Mimi from her "airplane in the sky!" From the moment she climbed into the back of the van, Evan chatted her up, pointing out trees and trucks and "waterrr" all the way to "Ebban's house!" Once home, he had immediate plans for her: playing golf outside. Watching my kids enjoy their grandparents is one of the best parts of their growing up. Evan would wake up each morning and from each nap, saying "I wanna see Mimi." And if she wasn't immediately in sight, he'd call out "Mimi, where are you?" Later that afternoon, she helped Evan ride Tobin's bike. On the deck, no less. But he loved it.

bike lesson

We had beautiful, warm weather while she was here and the boys had her outside supervising deck basketball; playing golf, kickball and baseball in our yard; and finding new adventures jumping over creeks along our usual walking trails. There was also time for quieter moments, like playing Tobin's favorite board game, Qwirkle, while the babies took their afternoon naps.


In addition to being a fantastic playmate for the kids, my mom is amazingly helpful. She has a knack for simply getting things done. Within her first 24 hours here, she managed to accomplish something I only get around to every few weeks (months?): vacuuming our entire house, even under couches and other furniture. I got a kick out of this picture of the babies watching Mimi vacuum; it suggests that they are less than familiar with the vacuum cleaner. They do see it--just not very often.

what's that, mama?

While she was here, Mimi also put up a new shade in the boys' bedroom, fixed a broken doorknob, cleaned our windows, dusted the ceiling fans and generally kept the house neat and orderly. At the end of the day, when we usually have to help Tobin pick up the day's toys, there'd be little to clean up because Mimi had picked up throughout the day. I also feel as if I have a self-cleaning kitchen when she's here. I'm fairly fastidious about my kitchen, which means I spend a lot of time in there with all the cooking and cleaning required for a family of five. Not only did Mimi make us some good food, she also spared me a lot of wiping down counters, dishwasher loading/unloading and the like.

Mimi always encourages Matt and me to go on a date while she's in town. We left her at home with pizza and Netflix for the kids and went out to eat. At this stage in my life, a dinner out with just my husband is one of my most favorite things. I enjoy a meal that I neither have to plan, prepare or clean up. I don't have to remind anyone to eat, or get up to get water right after I've served someone more yogurt, or feed anyone spoonfuls of pureed vegetables with one hand while I try to feed myself with the other. Matt and I enjoy leisurely, uninterrupted adult conversation--even if it almost always seems to work its ways back to smiling and laughing about children. After dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant, Matt and I came home to find three happy kids, all ready for bed. So nice.

During this particular visit, it seemed Mimi shared so much of our lives. She saw and felt Lauren's first tooth. She attended our friend Miles' birthday party with us. She witnessed me failing to get Evan to eat a single Chick-fil-A nugget followed by me crawling into the play area tubes to retrieve him from tackling another toddler. (Stinker!) She watched Tobin's first T-ball practice of the season. She saw Lauren get this close to crawling. She helped Evan and Lauren take their first bath together. And she watched a lot of college basketball with us--even filling out her own bracket and discussing the first two days of the tournament in minute detail with Tobin.

Although I'm missing her acutely right now, I'm so thankful for Mom's visit. I appreciate her generosity and resourcefulness. And I love how she loves my babies. I also adore how they're learning that Mimi is one of the most important (and fun!) people in their lives. With the memory of this particularly wonderful visit, we look forward to our next time together. We love you Mimi!

pretty girls


DMW said...

Sniff, sniff. Our parents, but maybe especially our moms, give us great models for how to be amazing grandparents if/when it's our turn. I suppose I'm speaking for you when I say that, but I think you'd agree. Hope you get some rest soon and that your babies are on the mend as well.

allison said...

I totally agree, Danielle. Thanks, and I hope your family is healthy and well-rested too.