Yesterday when I got home from work, after I stopped sobbing into my pillow and questioning why I didn't pay more attention in Get Rich Quick class, I noticed that we had guests. The kids each had a friend over. They are a brother sister team that I have recently (re)connected with sort of (I'll explain later in this post...I think it's cool). I have to say, it's darned convenient to have the kids' friends be brother and sister. One trip to pick up, one trip to drop off, they are spaced apart (age wise) similarly to our kids, there is one phone call to ask permission to go to a movie, and most importantly there is one phone to explain that we left them at the movie theater when we forgot they were with us. I'm KIDDING!! Don't worry! We would never leave anyone at the movie theater...it was the mall. But I digress...
When Kristiana first started hanging out with her friend from a home school group, it was just the two girls. They would get together at field trips and such. I started hearing her name but it was just another of the many that I would hear.
Me, "Is Jane the one who goes to choir?"
"Mary is the one with the four brothers right?"
"Sue is the one who had the birthday party at that place?"
"Esmeralda wants to..."
"No WAIT! I got this one! Esmeralda is the one who likes that boy that everyone thinks walks funny but it doesn't matter because he's so cute."
"(exasperated exhaling of breath that is too difficult to try to spell)"
In my mind I think that I am getting "father points" (I will delve into these in a later post) for even trying to guess how these girls are connected. Outwardly, all I get is grief. But back to the female half of the bro/sis team. She came over to our house one day. I, in my usual effort not to embarrass the children, was being somewhat low-key. Kristiana has learned to not ask to be embarrassment free since that makes me say things like, "Nice to meet you. I am not embarrassing. I would never, for instance, scream UNDERWEAR! when meeting one of her friends. Have a nice time tonight girls." I crack myself up...and I am planning on putting a pay-pal account together so people can donate to the kids' my-dad-was-an-embarrassing-goofball-adult-therapy fund.
This one particular time we decided to walk, as a family, to the store down the road. As we were walking along I couldn't help staring at her new friend. "psst...daaaad. stop it. what are you looking at?!" OK, people noticed, I had to come clean.
"I'm sorry. You just remind me of someone."
"No seriously. I am thinking that you are just like a friend I had a long time ago. I can't remember where yet. Not school. Where? Hmmmmm."
"Ummm, I don't know. (Kristiana, I thought you said all he did was shout underwear or something!)"
"Oh THIS is gonna kill me now!" Honestly, that is my kryptonite. If I see someone that I have seen before but can't remember where the connection was, I literally can think of very little else until I figure out where the heck we crossed paths. It gets really embarrassing when I keep asking total 'strangers' their work, school, church, and hobby history to try to satisfy some irrational need.
I continued..."I've got it! You remind me of my old friend Kelly!" Wooo! That was a close one. Not too long to figure it out. Not too much embarrassment done. Keep walking to the store.
Then she says, "Ha! My mom's name is Kelly."
"Oh Boy! What a coincidence." I joked. "Do you have an older brother named Brandon? Ha!"
This time her mouth opened wide.
Then I knew...so I thought I would blow her mind. "And your grandma's name was Ana but she passed away quite a while ago. And your grandfathers name is Claiburne but nobody ever calls him that. They all call him Red even though his impressively large beard is as white as snow. And he drives a really big white van."
Now her eyes and mouth were as big as dinner plates. (Maybe I will have to share some of the therapy money with her family...give generously!)
Turns out her mother and I were friends from church when we were in junior high, high school, and beyond, and it has been nice getting to know her family after these (mumblemumble) decades that we hadn't seen each other.
Needless to say, I now know the connection when Kristiana says her name.
I told you that story so I could tell you this one. The kids were over at our house playing and giggling. The girls were huddled together and talking about boys. I have no idea if that is what they were really talking about...but one can assume. The boys were both being mortally wounded in a vicious Nerf blaster war. And then a beautiful thing happened. All of the kids started playing together. No coercion. No reluctance. They just sort of started hanging out. And then three of them took off running to all parts of the house. One was left standing, counting up to forty. Hide and seek! I used to love that game. As Kristiana (also known as "it" for the game) was walking around trying to make another person "it" I thought, "Hey! They all have cell phones...I wonder who was smart enough to turn off the ringers. As I was resisting the urge to grab my cell phone and start calling people, Kristiana called out in a sing songy voice, "Re-e-e-e-e-d Robi-i-i-in...." hoping that someone would answer with "Yummmmmm." For those of you in other countries,or other places that may not have this restaurant, you can watch their little jingle here. It's a clever little thing and I was very proud of the comedic abilities of my daughter! Then she reached for her phone. She said, "Jake just texted me ... 'Yum'!"
I LOVE living here!
Now I need to go disconnect the television...they obviously have been watching too much.