A Little Girl Sleeps OverThursday, August 25, 2011
On Tuesday I took my youngest granddaughter Lauren (8) to her swimming class at Jericho. For an hour I sat between two mothers who talked about their children, their children’s recent haircuts. At one point the talking was so loud that I was wincing but to no effect as the two mothers kept on. I attempted to read my book Flying the World’s Great Aircraft but I could only finish the chapters on the Hurricane and the Spitfire. I finally gave up and watched Lauren while the two women made conversation.
It brought memories of Rosemary and I taking our daughters for swimming classes at CG Brown Pool in Burnaby in 1976. I can remember the intense smell of chlorine and getting into my freezing car under freezing rain in a cold winter’s night. The conversations, as we sat trying to see through the misted glass window of the pool, must have been equally banal except that these were our daughters and we had the responsibility of giving them all the opportunities available to children, like swimming, ice skating, roller skating, ballet, guitar lessons, etc.
But at the Jericho Pool I felt out of commission. I certainly did not fit in with the buxom Kitsilano mothers. It became palpably evident that taking a granddaughter to her swimming class would have to be an occasional chore and no more. If it were to be daily I would go nuts soon. I had this urge to tell the mothers that what they were saying was simply noise filling empty and silent space. But I resisted the urge as I saw any one of them as my very own Rosemary back in 1976 doing the very same thing, waiting for an hour to pass knowing that the task at hand was obligatory if one were not to feel like a guilty parent.
Back at home we had homemade pizza and Lauren settled in. She kept asking me if I were doing anything the next morning. I figured out that she wanted to have a sleepover. As Tuesdays and Wednesdays are her mother’s day off, Rosemary was not keen on changing Hilary’s routine. But Lauren insisted and I said yes. Important in her sleepovers is the fact that they include breakfast in bed for all of us.
She played with Rosemary’s cat, Casi. Before we turned off the lights and the three of us settled in for the night, Lauren asked me,"Papi have you brushed your teeth? Do you know you have a lot of hair in your nose?"
Come morning we served breakfast and Lauren did what I should have seen coming. She placed her half full juice glass on our breakfast tray (on the bed) and said, “Ooops!” The juice spilled all over.
Rosemary has gone to the Laundromat to wash the comforter (much too big for our washing machine) and Lauren is back home.
|Casi by Lauren Elizabeth Stewart|
Having Lauren at home for a sleepover is a delight. She is a happy girl, always smiling and it is wonderful how she plays and connects with Casi. She did tease him a bit and he hid under the bed. But once the lights were off we heard and felt him jump up on the bed. The two cats, my wife and Lauren, we were all together. How could I possibly not enjoy the sleepover of our Lauren?