Okay, okay, I'm going to get back to writing. But last night I had almost 3/4 of my gang for dinner and most of those overnight. (This morning at the local deli for lox and bagels, I felt like the matriarch of a huge clan and a friend who came in said, "You are!") Once, months ago, when I complained (yeah, I really did!) that the house gets so messy when they're all here, Mel put it in perspective for me by saying, "Of course we're messy. We're home." I've never forgotten those words, and last night I saw that in action, and not just that it was messy.
Colin and Morgan were on their way to Houston so stopped for the night; the Frisco Alters and the Burtons came to visit. All afternoon and through dinner, it was rowdy, noisy, everyone talking at once, but after dinner everyone was tired, and the house became quiet quickly. Everyone sort of peeled off to do his or her own thing, and that was what made me think, "Yeah, they're home!" Christian took Jacob home to his own bed, Jordan left for Austin, Colin and Jamie settled down for a discussion of computers and hi-tech telephones that I didn't even want to think about--like strangers talking in tongues, Morgan said "Night, night" and went down in the crib. I caught Maddie softly singing "Rockabye Baby" to her--sweetest thing I've seen in a long time. And Mel, exhausted from three days of traveling, got into pjs, cleaned her face, and took off for the guest house with her book.
Not that it was all quiet and peaceful after that. The neighbors' dog was baying at the moon right behind the guest house, so Jame went to ask them to bring him inside. No one home. Then when everyone was asleep, the entire Frisco clan trooped back into the house--and Jamie either forgot or didnt' know the new alarm code, so that alarm went off. Sleepy as I was I remember Maddie saying in awestruck tones, "Morgan didn't even wake up." After that, it was hard to go back to sleep.
Now it's 2 p.m. Saturday and they've all left. Colin did a good job of cleaning up his part, and Mel and Jamie are always good about seeing that the girls put up toys and everything is returned to its place. I didn't have to do much--and last night I wouldn't have given you two cents for this messy house. I think I'm still learning to be a grandmother gracefully. But one big lesson I've about got down is "Don't worry about the mess. It's not permanent, and it's more important to enjoy their company." Hard stuff for a compulsive like me.
One fun touch: I bought magnetic flowers and happy faces to put on my VW bug convertible, and the girls and the kids from next door had a high old time decorating the car. Jamie predicted the flowers would begin to disappear one by one, and I was appalled. What lowlife would steal my flowers?