We hadn't said our last goodbyes exactly--we weren't leaving until morning--but that night there was a tinge of sadness in our goodnights because, if I dare say so myself, our family did well together for a long weekend in Arkansas. The weather was putrid--rain and snow and no sun, temps right at freezing--but the big house on top the mountain was a perfect getaway joy, spacious and generous in its favors, the huge fireplace ever ablaze. We'd had a great time. Tomorrow, we'd be leaving.
Our granddaughter, who is 11, chose to ride down and back with her grandparents, where she had a back seat all too herself. She'd packed her iPod, some goodies, and whatnot else for the trip, and the two of us were glad to have her. It meant she was missing whatever videos were playing in the van's theater, but it's clear to all that she's becoming a young lady.
On the way home, it didn't take more than an hour and the story came out. She told it--maybe not exactly with this spin, but here's what she said.
It seems our son and his wife, her uncle and aunt, a couple who are not exactly newlyweds but still newly married (a year and a half), decided, rather furtively--and that's okay--to use the hot tub yet that night, after all the goodnights had been said and the lights struck. They snuck out there under darkness, which is fine. I wish I'd have thought of it, but we were there to celebrate our 40th anniversary, and such thoughts don't arise so quickly anymore, which is not to say they're not there.
The problem was the fourth bedroom, where our granddaughter slept with her nine-year-old brother (a humiliation she simply had to countenance), stood between the newlyweds, so to speak, and the hot tub; and when her uncle and aunt passed, in barefooted silence, down the hallway, our grandchildren, still high from the good times, hadn't yet fallen asleep. In other words, my son and his wife, on their stealthy, midnight trip to the hot tub, were overheard by our grandson. And the conversation, or so our granddaughter explained as we left Arkansas, went something like this.
"Jocey, Dave and Kristina are going in the hot tub!" The tone, if I know my grandson, was alarmist. He wasn't simply announcing the news, he was insanely jealous. "I'm going too."
Like I said, our granddaughter is 11, but she's maturing. "No, you're not," she told him.
"Awwwwww," he moaned for something close to ten seconds, I'm sure.
"Be quiet," she told him.
"But it's not fair," he groused.
"You just let 'em alone," she said.
And he did.
This is the story she told us on our way back home, our granddaughther who is no more a child.