Make A Tally

It was a quick round trip. I drove the little travellers to Granny’s, stayed the night and then turned around the next day on a solo journey to collect G. G and I will have a night in a hotel, a quick catch up with friends and then regroup to begin our family holiday.

The little travellers loaded the car as if we were camping for a year. Stuffed toys, blankets, and pillow pets made their way to designated seats.

“Guys, you’ll be at Granny’s for 4 nights. You don’t need all this stuff.”

They ignored me as they raced back inside to secure more belongings.

After a four hour journey of which music, which podcast, sharing chips, and arguing about the aircon – we arrived at Granny’s door.

Instantly I felt at peace, and so did they, the comfort of Granny’s oozes from their bodies.

They put their bags into their usual spots, set up their beds with all of their belongings. They immediately began pulling out puzzles and toys and then lazed on top of their beds like lizards on rocks. After dinner they were back in their room. There were giggles, mischief, threats, and finally lights out.

In the morning I noticed the fourth little traveller had several sheets of paper each with a tally marked down.

“What’s this?”

The first little traveller offered an explanation. “He’s counting how many windows and doors Granny has.”

“Clever. Do you have a clear answer yet?”

“We don’t need a clear answer” she said shaking her head with a grin. “It keeps him busy Mum. That’s all we need.” she gave me a wink.

They’ve made so many memories for themselves at Granny’s. And while they’re making new memories, I find myself surrounded by old ones. I pull out a drawer to find a familiar bowl, I stir my coffee with spoons which transport me to another time. I opened the door of a rarely used wardrobe recently to find a red velvet coat of my grandmothers; burying my nose in its collar launched me back to her house where I stayed for minutes, immersed another time. I’m a child sitting at a table coated in orange laminate listening to my grandparents tell a story I’ve heard before. They are larger than life, capable, competent, nowhere near the frail older people I remember them as at the end.

The memories we make, the memories we have, the memories we choose to let fade.

Count the windows and doors, make a tally. We don’t need a clear answer.

Just memories.

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