After my grandchildren leave

grandparents and grandsons

My three grandsons and daughter surprised me with a visit, filling my nest with the magical mayhem that accompanies young boys.

For seven soul-satisfying days, love and laughter — along with loud toys and joyful noise — mark the days in spectacular, unforgettable ways.

Then, in what seems a blink of the eye, the surprise ends, and four chunks of my heart fly home to the desert.

After my grandchildren leave, I return knick knacks and breakables to their proper spots, return kid dishes to rarely used cupboards.

I empty the popcorn machine, treating my dogs to the kernels my grandsons didn't manage to eat.

brothers

After my grandchildren leave, I breathe in the scent of their little bodies as I throw their used towels and linens into the wash.

I find under the family room ottoman the binky we'd spent hours searching for, find his stuffed dog on the spare bedroom floor.

thumbsucker

After my grandchildren leave, I close and reshelf the picture books scattered about, open blinds in bedrooms kept dark for naptime and bedtime.

I return the portable crib to the spare room closet, the step stool for potty time to the bathroom closet.

 toddler and scarecrow

After my grandchildren leave, I eat their remaining bananas and Count Chocula for breakfast, their GoGurt and cheese sticks for snack.

I savor glasses of the last of their chocolate milk with both.

boy and float

After my grandchildren leave, I rearrange the refrigerator door to make room for new drawings created at my table, coloring pages colored with my crayons — all by their tiny hands.

And I leave the chalk drawings on the patio, the fingerprints on the mirrors... for just a little while longer.

baby broncos fan

After my grandchildren leave, I consider the many photos I had taken, count my many blessings, too.

Then I look to the calendar and count the number of days 'til I can hug my grandchildren again.

loving brothers

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

After my grandchildren leave, I _____________.