It's crazy day, and we just finished up the dinner aka breakfast dishes. The boys are so exited, racing around and down the stairs in their PJ's. Millie and the baby are napping, and it's time for our infamous "wrestle with Papa" time. I have looked forward to this since our last visit, and it's always a highlight for both the boys and John. I join the group downstairs just as John drags out the spare mattress from the utility room. With 4 boys to wrestle with now, he is grateful for the extra padding it provides! Someone jumps in first to start the ball rolling, and there is an immediate pile-up of squirming fuzzy bodies on top of Papa. Delighted screams pierce our ears and it's 'all's fair' in the battle to conquer Papa. First one little body rolls out of the pile, then another, just to jump on top all over again. Three year old Calvin is right in among the others as I watch him in his turquoise striped jammies jumping and playing. Ben is five now and he's wearing the blue fuzzy red trimmed footed pajama. He has the spirit of a football tackle as he pounces and loves the chance to bounce all over the place. Soon faces are red and sweaty, and inevitably William gets hurt and comes over to the side for a Grammy hug and a little consolation. He is wearing a white t-shirt over blue plaid pajama pants, a little older look as he is 7 now. His tears stop slowly once he sees the fun he's missing. I sip my coffee, enjoying the melee, and watch 9-year old Samuel run to get a sofa pillow. He begins to batter anyone within arms reach as well as Papa's back whenever it's exposed. Now it's an all-out pillow fight, with a few more pile-up's for good measure. Usually I can only see an ear or a wrist at the bottom of the heap, and that disappears quickly. There's something so male about this ritual of pounding, screaming, jumping and tickling. It makes me glad that I am the Grammy, and have the privilege of just watching.
I love this connection though, both between John and his grandsons, as well as connecting our visits with an anticipated tradition.