One of my favorite grandparenting activities is reading to (and now with) my grandkids. Some books have a way of showing up in real life.
For example, Kellen, who was not obeying at the time, recently announced to me that he was “invincible.” I called him mother and in the ensuing conversation she proved otherwise. He had been reading a little too much Calvin and Hobbes.
That same night, I picked up another book, which Kellen told me “wasn’t a good one.” It was a book titled “Other Wordly–words both strange and lovely from around the world.”
“Croodle” is an English word which means “to cuddle nestle together from fear or cold.”
“Inglenook is another English or Scots term indicating a “close, intimate corner by a fireplace where people gather for warmth.”
Swedes use the word “smultronställe” to describe “a special place discovered, treasured, returned to for solace and relaxation; a personal idyll free from stress or sadness.”
German offers two words that fit our current circumstances:
“Schwellenangst” literally is “threshold anxiety or the fear of embarking on something new or entering a place.”
And, “kummerspeck, excessive weight gain through eating as a means of relieving stress or strong emotions” –an apt description of my response to the stress of the past few months. While we have trimmed down our stuff, I will be taking an extra 10 lbs to the new house.
We’ve been busy sorting through our stuff and packing. Elmhurst conveniently had a Spring Cleanup Day a week ago and the College hosted a Recycling Event this last Saturday. A POD was dropped off this morning, which John plans to fill with the contents of our garage. (I was dismayed to see its signage: 1-800-PACKRAT.) We sign the closing documents on the 9th; have the POD picked up on the 10th; and the movers come on the 11th. Both closings are on the 12th and we will move in on the 13th.
We are so looking forward to having this behind us, to creating a smutronställe in Aurora, an inglenook and a place to croodle with our grandkids. We’re especially interested in leaving behind the schwenllenangst of the past months, as well as the kummerspeck. One thing we know for sure; we are no longer (if we ever were) invincible!