That’s Elena the bear in on our first hug. I didn’t want the hug to end and now I have it frozen forever.
My friend Dawn, who yanked me into this world of hosting, took these photos last night at the airport. (We tend to yank each other into things. She’s walked the red dirt road to Adacar with me and I’ve had a couple of Eastern Europe airport pickups with her.)
I love the anticipation on all our faces. We are craning our entire bodies and taut with excitement. Had I known what today would bring, I probably would’ve had Roger Rabbit eyeballs boinging out of my sockets.
Today. I’m unprepared for how good this is. I’m used to hard. I’m used to fight, to don’t give up, to in the thick of it, to leaning on the Lord. I’m not used to shrieking giggles and gripping the upstairs railing telling God over and over and over again, “Thank You. Just thank You.” Chills. This isn’t just beautiful and precious. It’s also really fun.
Laughter. She has a rolling cross-between-a-giggle-and-a-chortle, and it’s music to my ears. Our little A– rocked the house with it today. Laughter watching popcorn pop before her eyes. Laughter swinging till she swung upside down. Laughter as Spike licked her leg. Laughter playing chase.
Elliott may soil himself because he’s discovered that A– laughs when he toots. I’m trying to lock it down, but honestly, I love to hear her laugh, so I’m not trying very hard. He, and his shorts, might just have to take one for the team.
Butt music aside, our visitor is bringing out the way best in my son. He’s acting all…hosty, with cute little mannerisms and phrases that I’ve never heard come out of his mouth unsolicited. He’s loving showing this out-of-towner our ways. “Here’s where we keep the plates and cups!” “Here’s your toothbrush!” “Here’s how you get water out of the fridge door!” “A–, this is our Grannnd-MA!” Was that an accent? “Mom, I’m gonna take the girls to the park.” You’re the man, Ranger Rick. My mom caught the two of them in the bathroom brushing their hair side by side. The boy has never once in his six years brushed his hair without my hog-tying him. She’s bringing out the best in him and it’s beautiful to watch.
He insisted that he sit next to her at the table, on the couch, play with her toys, invite her to play with his. When she disappeared for a moment to, one assumes, take a potty break from all the fun, he showed concern, “Mom, where’d she go?” Honey, back off. And also, you’re adorable, you manic, loyal golden retriever puppy.
Last week I impulse-bought a purple and pink hula hoop. When I brought it home, Hubby looked at me quizzically. “Mel, what’s with the hula hoop?” I told him that every eight-year-old girl needs one, and today, she proved me right. She’s a hula hooping pro. Also, she hopped on her purple bike and she and Elliott rode circles around the house.
I’m just waiting for that post-sleepover moment, you know, the day after the big fun when everyone’s been together too long and it’s all whining and hair-pulling?
Evie started there. Everything is jealousy and why does she get that and I want that and tears and whining and drama. So pretty much a regular day, bless her little heart (I turn Southern when I want to be nice.). Being three is hard. Right about now, most kids get a baby brother or sister and go through this tragedy of finding out they’re not the Supreme Royal Diva of the Universe. For my daughter, she’s experiencing that through summer hosting. It’s actually really hilarious to listen to her talk and talk and talk and talk and try to boss A– around, not realizing that A– understands zero of what she’s saying. She’s all, “Insolence! You dare disobey my order?” And A’s like, “Da, darling. Your lips are moving but you’re saying neesh-toh.”
My Nerd-o-meter picked up on A’s penchant for puzzling, so tonight while we watched Madagascar 3, I casually pulled out a jigsaw puzzle and started working the border pieces. Just being cool, no big deal, just moving some pieces around. Inside I was all “You know you want this, c’mon geek out with me.” A’s eyes kept darting from the movie to the puzzle and only a true puzzler can avert her eyes from Trapeze Americano to cardboard shattered pictures of cats and dogs. And then she went for it. We were puzzling together getting our nerd on to the tune of “Circus Afro.” Mind blown.
The day ended with a “Move It Move It” dance party and a pillow fight. I. Just. Can’t. Handle. The. Joy. Thank You, Jesus.