It happens every time.
The door opens, revealing their much-loved Uncle (you can hear him before you see him), and all decorum instantly evaporates. It is the funniest moment of the day, when all of the laughter becomes contagious.
Today there was the sweet addition of one small, impressionable doggie who was only just learning decorum. Mommy had kindly reminded everyone about not getting wild (nearly impossible), not leaving doors opened (almost as impossible), and helping Athena to apply everything she has learned so nicely up to now.
One might think that from the look of the photo above, chaos ensued. But in all truth, it didn't. Athena was introduced to the newcomer, and they became instant friends. The kindly uncle knew the ropes. Believed the rules. Happily reinforced them, thereby making his sister happy and thankful. The children cheerfully added their own instructions for what should and should not happen:
"But she isn't allowed to nibble or scratch. We have to say NO! when she does."
"Whenever she is sniffing the floor we have to take her out to the potty RIGHT AWAY."
"Give her a chew toy when she tries to bite you!"
And so on. It was the funniest thing.
The lovely daughter made lunch, and everyone piled around the big dining room table. Children sat, politely munching and sharing, and laughing at Grampa. Plans were bandied about. Requests were made. All sorts of fun things can happen on any given Saturday, and lots of them did.
"Grandma, can we get our nails done today?" said the 4 year old, hopefully.
"Of course!" replied Grandma. "We can go just as soon as you are ready."
"Can I get my nails done too?" teased Grampa.
"No! You're a BOY!"
"Oh.." he said in a disappointed voice. "Can Athena, then? She would look pretty in pink."
There was just the slightest roll of the eyes, and, "Nooo, only people girls can do that."
And on that happy note the family dispersed, leaving Mommy to enjoy a rare but wonderful moment of peace.
She watched as the van backed away, and down the lane. A sudden silence descended upon the Little Blue House as she walked through the door. It was lovely, this silence. It might allow her to collect her thoughts, and gather her sanity once again. Sanity came in very handy with a family of five.. and a dog.
But before very long, a strangely familiar feeling came over her. What was it? She was missing something that she felt she really should not miss.
It was the NOISE. Never underestimate the comfort of chaos.
See you along the way!