This past weekend, my children were on cloud nine! They had the company of our neighbor's grandchildren who come to visit several times a year - they love those three boys - it's like a Lego, water-fight, trash our garage bonanza for 72 hours straight! What more could a mom ask for?
Each of the boys has a very unique personality: The oldest is more reserved and sensitive but thinks my son (who is a year older than him) is the "bomb!" So he follows my son around and hangs on his every idea of what they should do next. By the way, this is pure euphoria for my son - as his sister does NOT engage in that type of behavior with him. Then there is the middle child, who has a twinkle in his eye and a story on his tongue at any given moment. Such as: "My Dad climbed a tree even though there was a bear in it and now we have a bear rug. Really. But we sold the bear rug and now we are really rich. I mean, I have some quarters - you want one?" This is the child my daughter schemes with all day when we have the privilege of his presence. And then, there is the youngest boy. The twinkle in his eye is double the size a regular twinkle and his duty is to follow my husband around as he tries to do his weekly yard work. The conversation is usually one-sided ( my husband has to say very little - which works for him) and goes something like this: "Can I come in your house? Do you have a dog? Do you bite your fingernails or are they just red like that? Can I light the grill? Do you have a kite I could use? We have a ghost in our house - but he's nice. Are you older than my mom? We have a boat that flies. Do you have a grandma who makes cookies and buys you shirts with bananas on them? Can I have a popsicle?" etc. etc. etc. This line of questioning continues up until nap time and then reconvenes as soon as nap time is over.
What made this past weekend just a little more special is the fact that our neighbors (their grandparents) just finished an elaborate landscaping project that is complete with fountains, stony rock paths with waterfalls, statues, a firepit, a pergola, and several areas for sitting. The fire pit has been of particular interest to the grandsons and they decided on their own that there would be a campfire - that we are ALL invited to. There would be s'mores and beer (their words, I swear). So after we ironed out the details of the beer announcement, we told our children that it would be fine if they wanted to have a campfire with our neighbors - assuming adults would be present.
As dusk arrived and my husband was finishing up his chores, we both took a glance toward the neighbors to see if there was a gearing up of the campfire. No action yet, but it wasn't very dark yet - and heck, it's the weekend, they can stay up a little later if they want. Kids are still running wild between the two yards and the proclamation of a campfire is still alive and kickin'. Now it's getting a little bit later and the mom wants to get the details. So I head over to the neighbors to see if there will indeed be a "kid's campfire" or not. I get sidelined into checking out some of my husbands handiwork of the day... and the night gets later. Now I am finally on my way to the "land of fountains and expensive wicker" to nail down a time and a curfew.
Here's the kicker: not only is there no planned campfire... our neighbors are not even home! There is a young babysitter who sleepily comes to the back sliding door - all drugged out on Wizards of Waverly Place and says, "Oh...yeah... where are the boys? They should probably come in now. I think the parents will be home soon."
Later, as I am putting to bed my very tired, disappointed, bug-eaten children to bed, my son groggily and sadly says, "I really wanted s'mores an "abeer." What's "abeer?"