I took Caitlin to the kiddie water park operated by the city yesterday while her parents and Nate were painting her room. The water park is a wading pool with many parts, lots of water sprays, and lots of slides. It is made for toddlers to mid elementary kids and their parents. Admission is $1.50 per kid and $2.75 per adult. What a fabulous resource, and it is barely 1/2 mile from Caitlin’s home. Caitlin loves pools, but she had never seen anything like this water park. It took her 30 minutes to process the experience enough to agree to go in, and then only with me. Eventually. She got comfortable with the pool, and was able to walk around and explore. We did a few slides, and she liked that after she got over the initial surprise of the spray upon landing. Toward the end she tried to play with older kids. Of course the older kids were having nothing to do with her.
Her room was painted in time for her to go to bed in it. Yellow with a teal accent wall that has a glitter overcoat. A great little girl’s room. Her parent worked hard all day on it, and grandma (me) took care of Caitlin.
The family came to dinner at my house afterwards. And I realized I was still woefully unprepared for a toddler. While I had secured the under sink cabinet, and drawers in the kitchen, I did not have plastic dishes for her, or toys or books. She loves books. She has books in the car when she ride with her parents.
So today, after church, I got pool toys, art supplies, and library books for her to keep in my car and house. Also got plastic dishes for her. Being an on the scene grandma is a steeper learning curve than I had anticipated; but I am confident I will be on the game in a week or two. At least I have the priorities straight. Safety first.
When I returned home from church and my shopping/library foray, I was surprised to see a large tree limb on my driveway and garage roof. Strange way to meet a neighbor, but I went over to inform him, since it was not there when I left the house three hours earlier. He turned out to be a very nice fellow, who immediately took responsibility and called the tree guy to get it taken care of. He also told me about a book discussion group I would like to attend.
This morning I went to the local UU church for the first time. People were most friendly and I met a woman neuropsychologist who works at the VA hospital. She tried to recruit me on the spot. We also had similar sons. We have a lunch date. I met a retired minister and her wife, who like to hike and bike and we agreed to meet to hike. Molly ( the retired minister) told me that Columbia is in the top 10 places for active retirees. I believe it. I love my local park. It has a lake, walking paths and fishing and tennis. There are many intersecting parks that can take you all over the city. And that is just in the city limits. With the fishing so close to home, I am thinking I might take up fishing. It is so fine to be retired. There was an ad for volunteers in the local refugee/immigrant agency. I plan to look into that too.
And Tonight I smudged my house with a smudge stick given to me as a moving gift. This is my first experience smudging, though I have heard others talk about it. I travel in those circles sometimes. I did it on a whim and to get rid of another possession. Much to my astonishment, I found it a spiritual experience. It moved some deep inner longing that I had not recognized was there. And I do feel in some way the smudging made the house truly mine; as if my spirit now inhabits these rooms.