Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Sam, Charlie and P in Lawrence
We tried to live in Kansas when P was born. Our family and friends were there and we wanted to be near them. Alas, it didn't take; square peg, round hole and all that jazz. This makes our time there so precious to us, surrounded by those who've known us most, or all, of our lives (even if they think we're freaks :) It is especially calming to me that we find so much time to be with "the girls" and their broods. And that P Adores these kids So Much.
So it was with great excitement that we went to visit Ella, Reed, Oliver and Ione in Lawrence. We played at the public kiddie pool and then swarmed to Oliver and Ione's house for food and mayhem. As soon as we arrived all of the kids sat down together to eat. Except for P. I could see him practically melt into the woodwork, attempting to bypass the combined energy and buzz of so many kids in such close proximity. At the pool he could swirl away into his own world and dunk Baby Brother. At Oliver's he fasted, waiting until the last child finished their food before venturing into the kitchen. But don't get me wrong, it wasn't a burden for the kid :) Oliver's tractor passion kept P happily busy (and distant) while he waited for a quiet place to eat his quiche and cookie.
Eventually, his internal comfort meter read "comfy" and he chased and giggled with the others. Lisa bravely gave them all paints and the freedom to decorate extra inspiration into her yard and they happily slapped paint everywhere. Ella organized a tree trunk painting party which P joined in for a while, only to decide (much to the other kids' chagrin) that he'd rather wash the world with a hose than paint it red...
We then spread the love to Ella and Reed's house. They all ran rampant in the backyard with water squirters for a bit, then descended on the pizza and toys. Following this there was a period of separateness, Ella and Sam doing big-kid stuff in her room and the younger boys independently manipulating machines. But as the evening moved on they all congregated on the floor, still doing their own thing, but now doing it together. Does anyone have a book rec on sociology and kids? Its really fascinating stuff, watching people interact before they've been trained by social etiquette and instead just follow their joy...
Whenever we all meet at Ella's we try and throw all of the kids onto the couch for a group photo. We were missing Oliver and Ione this time but everyone piled on anyway. P tends to be only marginally involved in the process while the rest of the kids revolve around their Sun Queen. Its lovely to see them all clammer over one another, hamming for the camera - or ignoring it :)
No one was interested in the evening ending so we stayed until the kids were practically comatose. Both Charlie and Phoenix fell asleep in the car within minutes and Sam soon followed. I'd bet there were three heads filled with sweet Ella dreams that night :)
Posted by Jac