My joy for today is our very own snowbirds.
“How many more days until Nana and Pappy get here?”
“After this sleep they will be here?”
“NANA AND PAPPY???!!!”
Questions like this continue day after day following the announcement that my Mom and Dad will be coming from Pennsylvania to their “little house” in Florida. For this reason, we try not to tell the kids about their upcoming arrival until very soon before it happens. The adults around here are not much better. We call and text each other, asking if anyone has an update on their arrival date or time. We try to act as though we care less than the kids when Mom and Dad arrive, but inside, we are all just like the little ones, bursting with excitement that our favorite snowbirds are making their annual migration.
When visitors come to stay, it’s like you are on a vacation along with them, vicariously experiencing the departure from everyday duties and roles along with your guests. Imagine what it’s like to have visitors for months! Of course we do actually have to continue to fulfill our responsibilities, but each day holds a little more excitement, a little more possibility, a little more love.
This year, our snowbirds came with matching boots. They both had foot surgery a few weeks prior, which had also delayed their arrival to Florida. They move more slowly than usual, but thankfully it does not slow down our Wizard, Quiddler, or Mexican Train Domino games.
Having my parents around reminds of my previous life in Florida, of being a kid in the Sunshine State. You can count on music always playing in the background, Dad often in the garage, Mom’s Swedish bread, cook-outs by the pool, days at the beach, eating out and eating too much, Granny as happy and as fun as you will ever see her, shopping trips with Mom, and employing the motto that my mom has in the kitchen, “Celebrate Everything.” For example, tonight we are having an Oscar party, complete with a red carpet sidewalk, food, drink, and games. We don’t need a reason to spend time together, but we will seize any reason to have a party. In my second life in Florida with my parents, I have added a husband and four kids, which makes time with my parents that much more meaningful. When my Dad is here, my husband has one of his best friends around to talk with and laugh. My kids have their Nana and Pappy, whom they adore. I have a warm feeling in my heart that all is a little better with the world.
As with any post about a person or people, it is impossible to summarize them into a short blog. Needless to say to anyone who knows either me or them, they are amazing parents, as well as amazing people, full of encouragement, support, and unending delight in their children, no matter their age. They have given me the gift of self-esteem, by loving me unconditionally since the day of my birth, and I am eternally grateful for their presence in my life and in the life of my family.
When my parents leave, I cannot listen to Oldies on the radio without getting tears in my eyes. The gentle, carefree merriment and love of that music sums up the feeling I have when my parents are in town. Unfortunately, my kids know their visit does not last forever, and have already asked when they are going back to their “big house.” This provides an excellent opportunity for me to tell them what I need reminded of as well:
Enjoy your joys for today.