On May 6th when Chloe turned 13, I called her. “For your birthday, we’ll sneak out for lunch and a little shopping while you’re all up here in a couple of weeks.”
Yesterday was the day. We split up the children after feeding them all breakfast; Rebecca took the boys down to her home in San Bernardino where they spent the day jumping around on Nathaniel’s trampoline and playing in his pool.
First off, though, they needed more “floaties” and water rings for the little ones, so Rebecca made a stop at Walgreen’s. She gave a little talk before going in the store, and the youngsters were so good, the clerk commented on their behavior, and encouraged Aunt Becky to let them buy M and Ms which were featured as a special sale near the cash register.
Here at the house, we had a quiet morning after putting Ella down for a nap. Chloe read and helped straighten up the place, I did laundry, started marinara sauce for dinner, and set the table in the dining room.
A little before 1:00, Ella Claire awoke, we gave her a bit of lunch, pulled socks on her feet and carried her down to the car. Jerry and Chloe latched in the car seat, and we were off!
Lake Arrowhead lies about 10 miles from our house and is upscale from Crestline–has a little mall, a beautiful lake, million dollar homes, ducks, a McDonald’s and some other cute places.
Chloe and I had decided that since we had Ella Claire with us, it would be best to forego a fancy restaurant, and eat at a simpler place. We chose patio seating at the Belgian Waffle House and had a delicious meal. The waitress was kind enough to snap our picture, but it wasn’t done properly, so I can’t show you our table. Our view though, was similar to what you see here.
Please forgive me this week for talking about my grandkids so much, and especially please be tolerant with me as I now launch into a few words of bragging.
“Do they have a Claire’s there?” Chloe had asked me at the house.
“Yes,” I told her. So after lunch, we wheeled the stroller to Claire’s, which for you who don’t know is definitely a girl’s store, stocking inexpensive hair “things,” cheap purses, bangles and bows, cute bottles of toiletries, key chains, little wallets–that sort of thing.
Ella clings to Chloe as though she is her mother, and Chloe has been extremely tolerant of these demands on her time and energy during these last few days while their mother has been gone to St. Louis. She shows exceptional patience, and should the need arise, she could totally care for her baby sister.
Now, in the store, I took charge of Ella who was tired of being in the stroller. I took her out and set her down on the carpeted floor, where she played contently while Chloe shopped. The clerk had handed Chloe a basket for her purchases, and I watched…watched this little girl who totters at the precipice of womanhood…watched as she moved about the store. She placed a few things in her basket, occasionally speaking to me about how cute something was. Then she walked right by me, and I saw her basket was empty, then she picked up a pack of clear lip gloss, showed me it was flavored like cookies, and put that in her basket.
Later, though, she muttered, “I’ve don’t need that. I have lots of those,” and she rehung the package.
Once she asked, “Am I taking too long, Granny?”
Then she was through, with one or two items in her basket, and I handed her money to pay. “Oh, I’ve got $10.00, Granny.”
“No, Chloe, I’m buying this for you today.”
“Are you sure, Granny?”
“I’m sure, Chloe.”
She scooped up her sister, went to the register and paid for her little gifts. My point in telling you this today is to record how thankful I am that Chloe is not jaded, not greedy, nor materialistic, and that at 13 she is still young, and that she is thoughtful and kind, and that I see she has developed into a lovely human being.
Aunt Becky’s crew came in with fun reports of a great day, and we gathered for dinner.