An important part of my grandchildrens visits to Baltimore is the time they spend with my neighbor Jane. Their first words (as they came in the door and gave me perfunctory hugs) were, "Can we go down to see Jane and the doggies?"
Since it was 2:30 AM I regretfully declined after pointing out that Jane was sleeping--and so should they. The next morning bright and early they stumbled out of bed, yawning and half-awake. "Can we go down to see Jane and the doggies now?"
"No. Jane is not up yet. You can go later."
After a full day of bowling, shopping and eating out, we arrived home dead tired and ready to flop on the beds. Not so with the kids. "Can we go down to see Jane?"
Just then the phone rang. It was Jane asking if the kids could come down to visit. Yawning, their mom gave permission and they were out the door like a shot. It was late so their visit was relatively short, but it included them hauling the doggies, one at a time up the stairs so everyone could meet them.
The next day we spent at the zoo. By the time we stumbled through the door, the adults were ready for a nap, but the kids wanted to go visit Jane. She was potting her herbs and flowers on the patio downstairs. All excited the girls raced down around the building to the patio.
A couple hours later, I noticed the time! Jane usually is serving dinner at her place at seven and it was five til seven. So I called to see what was up. They were still planting flowers. Seems that the younger granddaughter D (she's five) was "helping" put dirt in the pots. One scoop for the pot. One scoop for Jane's feet. One scoop for the pot. One scoop for T's (her older sister) feet. One scoop for the pot... and most of those scoops also ended up on D's feet. Nice black dirt.
Then they watered all the plants. See how that could be fun?
Yesterday when I was talking to Jane on the phone she said that every time she looked out at the plants on the patio she smiled, remembering the great time she had with the girls.
Playing in the dirt can be wonderful.