The quiet in the house after the grandchildren leave always puts a little lump in my throat and a little ache in my heart.
Hours before, the place inhaled kid energy: shouts, laughter, tears, band-aids, chocolate milk, hot dogs, songs, knock-knock jokes, t-ball, Power Wheels, frisbee, hula hoops, and books.
We sent them off with some gifts: two lamb stories and a magnifying glass from Iona, some 1990-era McDonalds transformers and My Little Ponies from the collection in the basement. And hugs. Lots and lots of hugs.
These are things they left behind:
None of these items is precious in its own right.
But each carries an aroma, a residue of love left behind by a child.
And each sits there, quietly, waiting for the chance to give itself again when the car door slams and slightly longer legs come running down the sidewalk and slightly longer arms reach out for hugs.
Do you remember special objects in your grandparents’ home? If you are a grandparent, do you have objects that carry the uniqueness of your place to your grandchildren?