There’s just no other way to describe what it’s like to hold your grandsons in your arms. Though it’s only been three and a half months since our last visit, toddlers grow and change with lightning speed.
When Derek, our youngest son, Sam, and I arrived at the twins’ new home in Newark, Ohio, earlier this month, we wondered if the boys would remember us.
We didn’t wonder long. Sam captured their reactions in a photo. Nick reached for me and buried his head on my shoulder, and Adam gleefully bounded into Derek’s arms. It was so thoughtful of Alex and Brooke to have twins, so each of us gets a boy to hold. And at 20 months, they’re definitely more boys than babies.
In fact, it seems I took more videos than pictures of them this trip because they’re always on the move. One afternoon, as we explored their new town, we decided to let them stroll around the courthouse square. But, just like their father at this age, these guys prefer running to walking.
After all that exertion, we needed to cool down, so we stopped for ice cream. Holding a toddler with an ice cream cone is every bit as messy and as fun as I remembered.
The twins enjoyed exploring the Airbnb home we rented and the wooden blocks we bought were a huge hit. They spent lots of time building block towers and had fun dumping the blocks out of the bucket and putting them back in again.
Speaking of cleaning up, Nick has a passion for sweeping. Every day, he grabbed the broom and made a circuit. Then he went back for the Swiffer. And then the mop. Those wood floors gleamed by the time he was done!
In the evenings we returned to our son’s home for dinner. The house sits on almost an acre and features an in-ground pool. Plenty of room for boys to roam when they get older, but on this visit, the grown-ups cooled off in the big pool while the little ones splashed in their kiddie pool on the gated deck under their mom’s watchful eye.
The days flew by, filled with play, Popsicles and naps, followed by evenings with barbecues and lots of laughter.
I was so delighted that though the twins are busy, active boys, they both enjoy cuddling. They also adored their Uncle Sam. It seems every time he sat down, a twin would run over and climb up on his lap.
Best of all, that snuggling made for perfect story times. As I mentioned in my previous column, I took a stack of board books for the boys with me. Derek gamely packed them in his bag, so I didn’t have to wear the same outfit the entire trip.
We planned one more visit this year before winter and before the twins’ second birthday. I’m already counting down the days – and picking out the books.
More reading memories
Terry Martin wrote: “When I was 4 years old a Bookmobile came around our neighborhood once every two weeks, but I couldn’t check out any books until I could write my name. So my mom showed me, and I practiced for the next two weeks and when the Bookmobile came around again, I proudly showed the librarian that I could print my name on a piece of paper and was allowed to check out two books! That started my lifelong love of reading.”
And Mary Ann Tripp sent the following poem, adding, “In my 94 years of life, reading has been one of, if not the most, enjoyable thing of all!”
A Word Artist
By Mary Ann Tripp
A word artist is what I long to be,
Who with just a stroke of words
Could paint the beauty of a tree.
My canvas a scrap of paper
My brush would be a pen.
And with inspiration’s color
I’d paint imagination’s glen.
And to that beauteous haven
I’d ask you to come with me
Leaving cares behind
Sweet peace you would find
In my word artistry.
Correspondent Cindy Hval can be reached at email@example.com. Hval is the author of “War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation” (Casemate Publishers, 2015) available locally at Auntie’s Bookstore, Barnes & Noble locations and on Amazon.