In the morning Dom took Bella with him and went to buy a lawn mower. Oh she’ll go anywhere with him, even the hardware store is a grand adventure. They also stopped by the Indian grocery where they found some frozen samosas (Oh I’m so excited!).
Sophie saw them putting on jackets and shoes preparing to go out and immediately crawled for the front door to join them. When I intercepted her and told her we weren’t going, she began to fuss. So I popped her into a sweater and hat and found some socks and we went out front to take another look at the crocuses.
The ground was fairly dry so I sat down with her in my lap at the edge of the flower bed and pointed at the pretty purple and white blooms. Soon I set her down on the grass and let her begin to explore. She picked at dry leaves and blades of grass, small twigs and clumps of dirt. She lunged for a crocus that had escaped the bed and was blooming in the lawn and I cautioned her to be gentle with the flower but let her touch the petals.
Bella joined us for a minute and then Dom put her into the car and they drove off. Sophie joined me in waving to them; she’s just mastered the art of waving bye-bye this week. And then she resumed her explorations. She got quite adventuresome and set out across the grass when I pointed out a pair of squabbling robins in the neighbor’s yard. But when a car came down the road she scurried back to me and safety.
We said hello to a neighbor walking a pug and to a girl riding a bike and listened to the birds singing and the bees humming and enjoyed being outside in the sun. Then we had lunch and Sophie took her nap.
Bella and Dom came home from the store and Dom told me his mother and sister Evy (and her four kids) were going to come down for an unplanned visit. Spring seems to be inspiring everyone with the urge to get out and be sociable. We decided to make pasta and meatballs and a green salad.
Bella went down for her nap. I folded laundry and then sat in the sun out back while Dom made meatballs. When Sophie woke I took her outside where she immediately began picking up rocks and dirt and getting thoroughly muddy in the space by the back door. She was a bit upset by the mud at first and so I wiped her off and relocated her to a blanket further from the house on the dryer grass. But soon she crawled off the blanket and headed back to the step and the mud. This time she didn’t seem squeamish at all. I had to stop her from eating some rocks but otherwise I quashed all my fastidious qualms about mud and dirt and and let her explore. She had a great time picking up rocks and piling them on the step and even learned how to crawl up the step and into the house.
Bella was still sleeping when everyone arrived. Fortunately the kids (aged 8, 6, 4, & 2) were able to go out back and entertain themselves on Bella’s swing set. Our last two residences haven’t had much in the way of entertainment for the nieces and nephews and I’ve always felt a little guilty about that. Bella soon woke and joined them running around, chasing a ball, playing with the new garden rakes and trowels that Grandma bought, and picking up earthworms.
My sister-in-law, Evy, brought a huge bag of baby boy clothes for me. She parted with them reluctantly, her only boy is 4, and I can’t blame her. Oh I am so in love with all the little blue outfits!
Grandma also brought beautiful matching Easter dresses for the girls, and some gardening supplies for me: a new hat, some gloves, and an angel to hang on the shed and watch over the yard. The hat is almost exactly like one I almost bought but didn’t last year because it was a bit pricey.
But of course the best present wasn’t the clothes or toys, it was having a bunch of laughing cousins running in the yard with Bella and playing with Sophie in the living room and crowded around the table for dinner. It was a chance to sit and chat with family and to laugh and eat and enjoy having company and remarking on how everyone has grown and to hear stories and tell stories, to entertain and be entertained by good company.
i was putting Sophie to bed as everyone left—actually she was just in her diaper, she always loves having a bit of playtime before I put on her pjs—and I brought her back out to say goodbye. She crawled for the front door when it was opened, ignoring the cold breeze on her bare body and desperate to get back outside. But I told her she’d have to wait for another day to continue her explorations. (Unfortunately not today, it’s cold and very rainy.)
All in all it was a delightful day. I am so looking forward to many many more long golden days of spring and summer with friends and family and plenty of laughter in the sun.