Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back to Normalcy

Well, that was a busy week or so! We got home last night after a rain-drenched but otherwise uneventful drive back from Jeff's parents. Now it's time to resume our regularly scheduled life. The perfect way to so is to be late for preschool because the child who is not actually attending preschool refuses to put on her shoes. Try it sometime!

A few days after Christmas, visitors from the North arrived -- my sister and her family. We didn't do too much except eat and enjoy each other's company. Sean and his cousin Jeremy, who's 8, bonded a bit more like Crazy Glue than perhaps Jeremy would have liked, but he was a terrific sport in response to Sean's constant chatter and demand for his company. And Emily, 11, is both growing up (as evidenced by periodic retreats to a private world hosted by her new MP3 Player) and still a child who likes to play with her little cousins.

Which brings me to the Furbies, the unofficial mascots of the visit. Have you seen these toys? They look like the un-demonic Gremlins, and they can respond to a limited set of spoken commands. At any given time, you'd see one of us, children and adults alike (sometimes with not a child in the vicinity), hunched next to one of Emily and Jeremy's Furbies, saying things like "Hey Furbie! Sing me a song" or "Hey Furbie! Are you hungry?" Completely ridiculous, and addictive.

We all exchanged presents one sublimely chaotic evening. I can't remember the last time we were all under the same roof at once -- my mom, my sisters and I, our spouses, and all our children. We also celebrated my nephew Gary's 25th birthday. Gary's a pretty stoic young man, and even he was visibly moved by having all his family there to sing Happy Birthday to him.

It was heavenly.

But that wasn't the only nearly unprecedented event. The next night, Beth, Kathie, and I went out. By ourselves! Hard as it may be to believe, we’d never done that before. Age and geographic distances can conspire against you in that regard, I suppose.

We all went ice skating at an outdoor rink next to a river. I tend to dislike both the cold and physical activity, but it was so much fun! Even after I fell not once but twice. Oh yes, I, the Graceless Wonder, wiped out spectacularly. The first time backwards, the second time forward. My tailbone is still smarting. Ego seems to have mended itself nicely.

If I had more time and were in a slightly more introspective mood, I'd expound about the symbolism of my sisters helping me up from my first fall. Here's the short version, though: One on either side of me, solicitous and kind and caring. As they have always been throughout my life.

Beth and Jo-Ann's visit seemed too short. As they pulled out of our driveway, Allie was sobbing at the front door: "I don't want them to go! Come back!" That summed it up for me, too.

In the previous post, I suppose I committed myself to a photo gallery, huh? Well, here's a small one!