Today was all about friends.
This morning I dropped the kids off at the home of another homeschooling family whose youngest son is friends with Boy, and whose older daughter is very good about playing with Girl, and whom Girl idolizes. This family has two teenage sons who are very busy with studies, and who therefore keep their mom busy, too, so I was of course keeping fingers crossed that my kiddos behaved and didn’t need too much care and attention. But sometimes having friends over can keep kids occupied better than being on their own, if everyone gets along well, and that was the case today. (Evidently, as I got a thumbs up report from the mom at pickup time.) I really, really like these kids, and am pretty happy about the friendship developing.
From there I headed alone to the home of another homeschooling family, friends of ours, who also have a son Boy’s age. But this family is moving out of state, and I went to help pack kitchen boxes for a couple of hours. It’s a tough thing, because it’s a good opportunity/move for them, but they are a particularly beloved family in this homeschooling community, and will be missed. The mom was one of Owen’s first and favorite teachers at our co-op. In the afternoon, I loaded a box of gifted kitchen items into the minivan along with the eight-year-old son, so that he might spend the night with us.
Having this child in the minivan greatly softened the blow when I arrived back at house #1 and announced that it was time to get shoes and coats on. I am fairly certain there would have been a lot of complaining otherwise, but as it was there was hardly any.
We drove home all four of us, and the kids continued playing, had some snacks, took the dog out back, ate dinner, played some more, and then got jammies on. The boys played with Legos, snuck around and played with toy guns, established secret hiding places and perimeters. They closed the door of Boy’s room and made baby-crying sounds at the tops of their lungs. Girl shared innumerable thoughts with our Guest, and showed him a great many things that she can do. Girl said to me, “We haven’t had anyone sleep over in so long! It’s so exciting! I just can’t stop talking to him!!” (Which was true.)
When Girl learned that she would not be sleeping in the room with the boys she was seriously pissed off. It took 15 minutes before she would stop yelling and chucking stuff at us, and agree to get in my bed so Papa could read her a story. (And she was perfectly clear that if she had a friend sleep over, she would not want to share a room with Boy. But if Boy has a friend over, she wants to sleep with them. No apologies! No surrender!)
I can still hear Girl talking to Papa. I can still hear the boys talking to each other. But sleep will come and get them all.