"Can I come in your house?"
"Can I have a Popsicle?"
"Do you have any snacks?"
"Can I have a glass of water?"
"I know Karate."
"I can play any kind of music you want on my harmonica."
"I just saw your dad driving in the car." (My Dad lives in Iowa)
"Do you comb your dog every day?" (We don't have a dog)
For those of you that have been around this blog for awhile, you may know exactly where the above listed line of questioning came from. For the rest of you, I will clue you in: The Boys Are Back in Town! We have some great neighbors who happen to be the proud grandparents to three rather inquisitive, enthusiastic, friendly, story-telling, visiting about eight times a year, and somewhat-overbearing grandsons. The boys range in age from five to nine and a half. These grandsons live "in a forest far, far away in a tree that's like six buildings tall." Translation: somewhere in Wisconsin.
This past Labor Day weekend, we had the pleasure of their company once again. I happened to be tree trimming when they arrived. They like to be involved with all things Burns. So - you guessed it - I had six little hands joining me by my dead lilac bush, grabbing for the biggest branches possible and then six little feet hauling them off to parts unknown - all within approximately four seconds of arrival on site and then subsequent presence in our back yard.
Our children have always loved when the boys visit because our neighborhood does not include other children their ages, and so they are often found kicking stray sticks and rocks around in our cul-de-sac looking for friends and adventures. When the boys visit, there is never a spare moment to wonder what to do next. In fact, at one point during the weekend, my son announced that he and his sister would be "playing in shifts" with the boys - as it can be an athletic and/or Olympic event at times.
Throughout these visits, my husband and I are often barraged with strings of questions and hours of stories. We know far more about the goings-on in their family life than should be permitted. But most of the stories are just down right entertaining. For example, I was enlightened this weekend on the intricacies of housebuilding with the use of just one hand. I also now know how easy it is to learn how to play a variety of instruments - the middle boy can play the harmonica, the violin, the drums, and a "tootaphone." He can play any song. I asked him to play his favorite on the shiny harmonica as he brandished it around in our garage. He said he needed a little practice first. I said I'd be happy to wait. He left.
These boys are kind and generous. They always bring candy and trinkets for my kids. They also leave a variety of toys and clothing items around our yard. There have been several desperate hunts for shoes and sweatshirts in our yard as their parents were backing out of the driveway "politely" announcing their departure time. So when the sun had set on Sunday evening and it looked like it was time to pack it in for the night, my husband kindly bid the boys a good night and reminded the youngest to take his shoes with him. To that he replied, "I don't wear shoes anymore, I just lose 'em." And that's when I heard my husband laugh and call to him, "No problem, have a good night, Huckleberry Finn!"
Good-by summer. Good-bye boys. We'll see you when the snow flies - might want to pack some boots, Huckleberry!