Elliott and I hung out with grandpa this past Saturday while mama and Ian went camera shopping with grandma. Our old camera died a few weeks ago. There is suspicion that Elliott actually tugged it off the kitchen counter and sent it nosediving onto the floor, not good for a camera, but we can't prove it and have therefore decided against labeling it a murder. Even if we did, I'm afraid a good attorney would try to show some negligence on our part; like we somehow could have predicted a two year old would pull the $300 camera off the counter instead of the $1.49 bag of Doritos that was sitting next to it. The nerve.
The trip was a success for all. Elliott got to hike around the great outdoors with grandpa. I would throw in the fact that I joined the hike, but I'm afraid I would go as unnoticed in word as I was through the entirety of our journey Saturday. When Elliott is around bumpa, little else exists. Grandpa was kind enough to acknowledge I was with them; he caught me up on the many projects he is working on around their property, but in talking to me he had to endure strange looks from Elliott that seemed to accuse him of talking to ghosts.
Mama found a new camera, which meant we could take the other three back to Walmart that she had been experimenting with. I'm not sure this is a valid use of the return process, but we do have a camera we are pleased with so the method worked. And the return process doesn't regulate motives and intents, it just gives you a return deadline, which essentially makes it a library of sorts with a hefty deposit for the borrowed materials.
We got the new camera just in time to take some photos of Elliott's displays at his school's art show yesterday. Or as Elliott put it, we were going to see his "heartshow", which would end up being a more accurate wording in my view. When Katie told me about this art show, my mind started producing snapshots of an art collection created by kids aged 1 to 5. When touring the makeshift gallery yesterday, I don't want to brag, but my mind was quite prophetic. Scores of parents wandered through the exhibits applauding their kid or kids' efforts. "This is beautiful," one would say. "You did a great job on this," said another. All I could think was these are wonderful parents who should never consider becoming art critics. I also thought that God has blessed us with Kiddie Kingdom, Elliott's school, and the heart they pour into taking care of and growing our kids. (There is a photo of one of Elliott's masterpieces in his photo album).
I lugged Ian around the art show, an activity that becomes more straining each passing meal. Everyone that paid him any sign of attention was rewarded with a smile. His grandma says he has a smile that truly stretches from ear to ear and I believe she is right. Elliott's teachers asked us if Elliott was that happy as a baby. I can only recall Elliott being too busy to smile. He always seemed to be plotting his next move, even before he could hold his own head up. His smiles seemed to come more with discovering something new as opposed to just being happy, like discovering a camera sitting on the kitchen counter that he knew he would one day be able to reach.
We're grateful for two happy children. We are blessed to have so many people pouring enough love into them to keep them in a constant overflow of smiles. I some days think while they are so happy, I should break it to them they are financing the future of this country. That the piggy banks they are fattening with spare change, will be slaughtered to pay for the attempted revival of companies whose piggies died long ago and bonuses for the folks that helped see that they did. But then Ian shoots me one of those ear to ear grins, and I decided that for now, it's really not that important.