When the going gets tough and I lack the strength it takes to drag my legion of little people in and out of the car in the sweltering heat but I also can’t bear to listen to the whining and screaming and arguing as it bounces back and forth across the small space between four walls that we call “home”, we go to the pool. One such afternoon when the tough had to get going to the pool we arrived at the gate to find our single neighbor having an adults-only pool party. Hopefully you can sympathize with my dilemma and you realize why we had to crash that party.
Within 10 minutes, my kids had run through their entire repertoire of pool tricks and had moved on to face off in a ‘who can make the most innocuous statement sound like trouble at home’ battle to end all battles. Nora Ruth upped the ante with, “When I tickle my sister’s bum, she likes it,” which was an innocent reference to how she was teasing Allie by swimming underwater and poking her backside to say “gotcha”. But our neighbors finally retreated and we won the pool with this one from Nora Ruth: “My daddy is gonna lose his gizzard when he hears that!”
Losing one’s gizzard is a euphemism we all love to hear Nora Ruth use because it derives from her sweet nursery school teacher, Ms. Susan. Evidently Ms. Susan never really lost her gizzard because Nora Ruth used to giggle when she’d imitate Ms. Susan on the ride home.
Besides pushing me further down the slippery slope towards agoraphobia, my child’s indomitable urge to share her every whim with strangers and friends alike reminded me of how much our friends and family back at home are with us every moment here in Cayman. I’ve handed out Nandaddy’s pecan pies and Dot’s Black-eyed Susan’s, thanks to Poppy we have Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in common with all of our friends and we try to eat pancakes every weekend, we see a hammock on the beach and we talk about swinging in Queenie’s backyard, and since Nora Ruth can’t marry her little brother, she’s pretty sure she’s going to marry her first friend, Nash. Isn’t there an old wives’ tale that says if your nose itches, then someone is thinking about you or talking about you? Well, with the way the Scott children like to gab, let’s hope there’s no truth to that.
Even from afar, you are all are so prominent in our thoughts and lives here but it is a special treat when we have visitors from home. Last week Brenda (“Ben”) and Kala came for a visit and it might as well have been Christmas as far as the girls were concerned. The kids enjoyed playing at the beach with Brenda and Kala, Allie camped out at their hotel one afternoon which really made her feel like ‘one of the girls’, Nora Ruth took a few lessons from Brenda in how to survive Kindergarten playground politics, we did “crafts” together, and the girls had lessons in femininity (how and why one uses hair rollers and how to apply makeup) from our guests. And for Clif and I, nothing could be more relaxing than enjoying time with old, close friends.
Saying goodbyes is always hard, especially for the girls. Their concept of time is still very unsophisticated but since our move they ask more pointed questions about how much longer until something happens or someone comes and how much time is left before someone has to leave or until someone returns. Time matters to them most as it relates to spending it with the people from home that they love. And even if I’m on the verge of losing my gizzard answering the same questions about “how much longer”, I have to admit that they’ve got the right idea about when and why time is important. All of our love to all of you at home who are with us even when you’re not and especially to the White’s for spending their time with us.