Tuesday, September 18, 2012

our trip: grandma's

I knew I should have filled the gas tank that 14 times I thought about it.  I wasn't sure how far the car would go on a tank. I waited until the empty light turned on and decided to get serious about finding a gas station.  We were on the interstate for a long, long time. I ended up passing through an automatic meter on a toll road (big ticket!).  I actually worried spikes or something would come up through the ground when I didn't exit to pay.  After thinking about this for 2 seconds, I realized that would be completely insane and dangerous.  I finally took an exit expecting to see a gas station.  Southern California should have a gas station at every block for how many cars there are. 
Somehow I managed to pick the exit into McMansion capitol.  We drove and drove, through beautiful hills surrounded by gated estates and golf courses.  We saw cars that cost more than I make in 5 years.  It was beautiful and smelled like money and fresh cut grass.  I couldn't really soak up that beauty because my 5-year-old was crying in the backseat, just sure we would end up stranded. He's just got no faith in me, I tell you. Not that he should at this point!  It's not like we were in the ghetto, although I felt just as out of place.
We drove and drove and drove.  Finally, after going about 15 plus miles through McMansionville, we entered into a more normal looking part of the city.  Still, block after block and no gas station!  I said, "Babe, I am pretty sure the cars of the rich and famous don't need gas. Or their drivers fill them up at some obscure hidden gas station designated for the 1%."  Finally, I stopped and asked someone at a doughnut shop.  We filled up while I had Matt browse through the owner's manual to find out how many gallons the tank held.  I put in 16, and we found out it holds 20! I could have gone another 120+ miles.  Then he reads that the empty light comes on, but there is actually a reserve tank. Although,  it is wise to find gas as soon as possible.  Why would they tell me that? You know I will bank on that reserve tank; that's just how I work.
We rolled into Grandmas and had dinner.  It was actually my first time ever being there.  The boys were so excited about her pool and ended up getting in fully clothed.  We had a nice relaxing evening together. I was so impressed with all of the citrus trees. I would have been in Heaven living there.
That evening, after the kids were asleep and everyone returned from the reception, we looked at Grandma's things and spent hours going through countless photo albums.  I always love to look through pictures and imagine what life was like for that person.  It was really fun to imagine the earlier years of Matt's grandparents.  I think I really am one of the most sentimental people in the world.  As everyone was going through Grandma's things, deciding who got what and what would get taken away, my heart hurt a little.  It just felt so wrong and sad, but I know it was necessary.  I think that if my parents ever die (which is doubtful, since they will live forever, you know. They have to!), I am going to need the house to accidentally catch on fire.  Otherwise, it will take me the rest of my life to have the courage to go through everything.
I was so touched by Kaden and the way he interacted with Grandma.  I had told him about her being very sick and weak, and explained how important it was that he play quietly and try to stay calm around her.  He was so excited to see her and didn't seem to notice that she looked so frail.  He just wanted to be by her, so he hauled his toys in and sat on the floor right next to her and played so quietly, every now and then talking to her.  I think she loved having him near and I melted seeing him be so gentle and quiet.  He talked about her a lot on our trip.  He talked about how she will feel all better when she gets to go live in Heaven.  He talked about how happy and thankful he was that she gave us her car.  He talked about how much her family will miss her, but how happy her husband would be when he saw her.  My heart was, and is, bursting.  This kid never ceases to blow me away with his sweetness, his understanding, and his love.
I really loved our time at Grandma's house.  I was so sad to say goodbye to her.  I knew it would be the last time we saw her and that is always so hard.  I felt frustrated not feeling like I knew how to express adequately how grateful I am, we are, for everything she has done for our little family over the years.  She has been so kind, loving, and supportive of us.  I hated to see her hurting, but was so glad that she was able to hold on to see her whole family all together.  I know that is what she wanted most, and what makes her most happy.
Beckham did pretty well at Grandma's, except for when he saw a fly.  Sadly, he saw a lot of them and I don't think one fly in a 50 ft radius escaped him.  He had been stung by a wasp 2 or 3 times on his face before vacation, so to him, every bug meant pain.  He was petrified.  He screamed and screamed.  I felt bad for him, but his screaming is so stressful and I have to really talk myself into not freaking out on him.  At one point on our drive home there was a fly in the car.  I was tyring to understand Beckham in hopes of not totally losing it with him.  I said, "you know Matt, I guess we need to just see it how he does.  It's like if there was a viper in our car right now...I'd be screaming my head off too..."  Sometimes, if I try to understand things as he does, I am able to get a glimpse into why this poor boy gets so bent out of shape sometimes.
These were just a few silly pictures of the boys in Matt's very, very dirty and cracked glasses.  That poor guy, he needs a wife that remembers to fix things like this.  We took these while trying to quietly entertain them in the bedroom.  Keeping two little boys quiet and under control is rough!

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