Three year old granddaughter Frog was quietly engrossed with my doll collection, nestled on the hope chest in the hallway near our kitchen, happily ignoring the gathering crowd. There were too many new faces for her to feel comfortable, but she is social and curious enough to want to be on the periphery, listening in and watching. The hope chest and the doll collection were the perfect remedy.
My oldest brother and wife (her great uncle and aunt) were visiting from Maine - our first overnight guests since sometime before March 2020. How to describe the joy we felt to have overnight company? To have this sense of normalcy? I suggested a Saturday brunch for all my local family/relatives - my sons, my daughter-in-law, the granddaughters, a nephew, a niece, my younger brother and his wife. It was awesome! With all of us vaccinated (and many of the older folks with boosters, too), I had no issues with hosting an indoor brunch.
It splattered to the floor,
the grocery store packaging split apart, and
fruit and juice were flying skidding scattering all about.
Instant chaos ensued amongst all of us loving greeters - some squealing, at least one loud "oh no!," a sister-in-law dashing to find paper towels, me running to the sink for a dishtowel, my husband racing for the trash can, others jumping back to avoid the syrupy mess, still others - not entirely understanding that there was mess on the floor - moving closer to loudly welcome and embrace my nephew.
"Nana! Nana! Nana!"
We had forgotten about Frog. Entirely. She had watched this frenzied fruit salad melee from her odd vantage point on the side, probably seeing little more than rapid, impulsive movement of unknown thighs and bottoms alongside a variety of equally unknown loud voices - leaving her completely surprised and confused. She couldn't see her parents, she couldn't see her grandparents, what was going on?
I rushed to her - she was now in child's pose on the hope chest, hands over her ears, trying to melt into the furniture and disappear, while big sobs wracked her body. I scooped her into my arms, and we moved to a quiet corner in the back of the house, away from the others, where I calmed her fears and explained the craziness. She was quickly soothed, and later charmed my nephew by calling him "the fruit salad cousin." So adorable!
Frog delighted in the rest of the party, as did all of us. Imagine, three years into life, and unaccustomed to the high and unexpected energy of large get-togethers. All of us have a lot of catching up to do!
To good health and gathering together!!
|The view from a three year old's perspective|