Nights like tonight are some of my favorites. A rare dinner shared around the too small table. Chris has worked his butt off the last 2 nights to give us this gift.
Later everyone, well almost everyone, is jammed in the living room, hanging out. The school year is winding down, exams are almost done and so Becka and Rachel are a tad less... um...touchy.
9pm on the dot, Daniel jumps up, comes into my room, grabs the phone and locks himself in his room. That's when I went outside and found John killing the next hour of exile from his bedroom by visiting with the vehicles in the driveway (see facebook status). Rachel asked at one point why he could climb up on top of the van and she wasn't allowed to when she was younger. Um, because he's sitting. You used the car roof for a trampoline, remember?
Later, sitting outside enjoying the mild evening, I looked up and realized I was the only one of four people outside not wearing a captioned shirt. Chris has one that says "I live in my own little world, but it's okay, they all know me here." It's the first time he's worn it in the 8 months he's lived with us. It was his way of reminding me he now knows he belongs. Rachel is wearing her Holy Grail shirt with the caption "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries". It never ceases to amaze her how few people get the reference. John's shirt says "Sometimes I pee when I laugh." He only wears it for bed. It's a hand me down from Becka... who sometimes did...
Krys headed out before leaving to pick up Steve from work and go home. I don't remember what we all talked about in the driveway... just that there was a lot of laughter. Krys is so excited about her garden.
Yesterday she showed me the plot of land they'd tilled with Steve's peppers and food stuffs planted on one side and Krys' sunflowers on the other. Then we wandered the property munching wild blackberries. We joked about how the grand kids will learn all about wild edibles and foraging because Grandma's just crazy that way.
After Krys went home tonight, Rachel and I came in and had a poking fight. I can't believe my laughing didn't wake up Charlie... especially as she'd shoved (I never did get out of the computer chair) me into the foot of his side of the bed.
Becka and Noeli are the only ones left in the living room now. He was up at 5 to go to work at 6 and hasn't been able to keep his eyes open much since we got home from the ultrasound. She's at one end of the couch, sound asleep... and he's at the other. Just before she fell asleep she let me know they're ready to get the crib next week.
I went back outside and sat watching the clouds floating in front of the moon. After a minute or two, John came out with tears pouring down his cheeks. "I need some snuggles, Mom."
"What's wrong Babe?" I pull him into my lap.
"I miss Patches."
Our older cat, Too Socks... the one who has always been a bit crazy, has taken to sleeping on the top bunk with John. The place that had once been Patches'.
"Maybe Too Socks is missing her too and knows just the person to help her feel less lonely."
I asked if he wanted to plant some flowers over Patches' grave tomorrow. We talked about her and her beautiful colors and chose flowers that each represent the colors in her fur and eyes. Then he drew a picture of what he'd like to put there in place of the heart-shaped collection of river rocks we have now.
I'm suddenly reminded of when he was 4 and drew a picture of the house of his dreams.(Even then he knew we'd need an elevator and more bedrooms.) He drew it in 4 sections then planted the carefully folded drawings around the perimeter of the house, so his dream could grow... and I think 'what if'? Wouldn't it be wonderful to see the fulfillment of a child's faith?
John's finished his drawing. It's "Dedicated to Patches: a friend to one and all, a second mother, ball of beauty, love and compassion. Rest in peace. (You'll need it!!!)
I asked him why she needs it and he smiled through his tears... "For when I get to Heaven."
I asked if it was okay to share this in my blog and he reminded me "Feelings shouldn't be hidden." Collectively, I sometimes think these kids are wiser than I'll ever be.
Everyone but Chris and I are in bed. It's so quiet in the house. There are programs I could catch up on but... not tonight.
Tonight... I think I'll enjoy the quiet... I'm almost relaxed even.
Sometimes it's just nice to be.