I wonder if it evens registers anymore when I say things like, "Can we get out the weed eater? I want to make a hide-out for Bean and the boys?" Does he laugh to himself and say, "Uh, huh, we'll do that." Or, after these many decades, does he not even hear the "we." I am aware, even as I say it, that I've never touched a weed eater in my life, nor is that on my bucket list. The notion of sharp grass and weed bits sticking to sweaty skin would cause me to lose all notions of hide outs before ever making it the garage to try and figure out what a weed eater even looks like. And if I did get there, and find it, there would still be that whole business of getting it to go. Umm, no thanks. Still, it sounds so nice to put it that way.
Folks show up on Playdate, look around and say, "Wow." Does sort of leave a person speechless. Ha, I doubt the neighbors are speechless. They probably have a lot to say about the playground I call my yard. I'm aiming here for a big play experience. So there are trucks and tractors of all makes and models ( and Ol' Henry can tell you about everyone) for dirt play. There are tiny dolls, and Barbie type princesses and big dolls with a rocking chair, high chair and stroller for family play. There is a water table, a tub and oh maybe twenty-seven buckets and containers for water play. There is an easel for painting, bubbles for blowing, chalk and crayons and pencils for drawing. There is a kitchen for cooking, a swing set for swinging, an airplane for flying and a car, pink jeep, blue jeep, and truck for driving. You have to have pens for chickie girl and bunny boy holding and loads of balls of every size for throwing and kicking. Every kid wants to run in and out of a tent or a tunnel, so you need that too. Then everyday Playdate has a different craft to assemble, with parts left all over the yard. When the observers find their words they often comment about what a lot of work it is. It's true, it is a lot of work for me, but you know, it's what I do.
The truth is, though, it's a lot of work for the Handy Man. Poor thing, not a week goes by that I don't come up with another "we" project. "Can we find this tubing to make these hula hoops?" "Can we cut these dowel rods in to six inch pieces?" By his own admission, he's not the imaginative sort. Trust me when I say, that left to his own devices, there would be two chairs on our porch and absolutely nothing in the yard except grass, because he does like to cut grass. I know he gets weary of the yard explosion, but at the same time, he's glad for the experience his wee folk are getting. And can't you tell how much he hates snuggling the tiniest one while I chase her siblings? He lovies that baby holding.
Before you sigh and say, "Well, at least the summer is short," consider that the "we" requests go on all school year too. At least the mess isn't in his front yard.
When my Handy Man retires from fulfilling "we" requests, I'm guessing I'll have to retire as well. There is no way I can do this chicken or Playdate thing without him.
So thank you for all the ways you bless your children and their children and host of other people's children with the work of your talented hands. We are so very blessed!