We spent the weekend with my parents in the house I grew up in.
They moved there when I was three months old – their first home. Their starter home that has gracefully transitioned into their retirement home. They say that they didn't buy a house – they bought the ducklings in the creek out back. (I think they paid $40 grand for it or something equally ridiculous. Probably close to what they just paid for their Prius. Yes, while much remains the same, change persists.)
There were no duckings the weekend, but we watched baby owls flap and feed in a big willow and listened to the coyotes yipping in the darkness. For being in the 'burbs it is an amazing place.
Observing the children here is like watching my childhood memories take form again. We explored the woods behind the house (that we still call "the field" because it was a field in 1973) and Sage set to work on building a fort. (Fort building in "the field" was my first occupation for about a decade.)
We explored, hiked, and picked up treasures left by humans and left by the coyotes.
Inside, the kids spent their time playing with vintage toys and reading with my parents. Curled on the couch, knitting away, I enjoy the feeling of being on the periphery with them. It's rare and I savor it.
Watching my parents as grandparents is delightful. They love these little ones so, and separated from the challenges of having to be the parent, they are able to extract out the sweetest parts and toss the rest aside.
I am grateful that my children – and I – have them in our lives.