Apparently, Leprechaun Fever as we are calling it around these parts, is catching.
The kids had been whining all day long about how they were bored and they wanted to play with someone. Long forgotten are the days, just a few months ago, when they mostly only had each other to play with. I texted a few of the moms around to see if their kids could come play, but no one was home, and my kids were very disgruntled with my usual "go outside and play together." That just wouldn't do today.
As luck would have it, my mother in law was here picking up Mimi when she got a call from her daughter. My sister in law lives in a gorgeous town right beneath the mountains. It is so full of farms, that she gets to shop at produce stands all summer long. But when wanting to buy other things, or in the cold months, they have to drive a ways into town to do their actual shopping. She wanted to drop her kids off at her mother's house while she was running a few errands. Her kids and my kids are great friends, so I offered for them to come to my house. We were all thrilled when they did.
No sooner did their cousins get here then my kids pounced upon them with stories of leprechauns. We all spent the next little bit outside, searching for clues for the wee people.
Anything that could be a clue, anything at all, they marked with boards and plastic train tracks. I was feeding Beth with the door open and could hear them scampering around, exclaiming over every little divot in the lawn, every bump or lump.
I was the last to come into the house, and nearly tripped on the pile of shoes in the doorway. There were six little kids at my house (including my own), which means twelve little shoes strewn in the entry, the sun streaming over them and in through the open door. I smiled. I loved every second of it, and it made me long for a large family. I want seven kids, and this just made me want it all the more. I most likely will not have seven, but I can still want it.
All too soon, their mom came, and despite the groans and moans, the cousins had to go home.
Minutes after they left, there was a knock on the door, and more kids showed up to play. Four more.
My kids were in friend heaven, and it made me laugh inside to see how everything had just evened itself out. Now there were seven kids in the house, running around and playing. It was loud, and I am not a fan of the loud. Usually it bothers me, but today I didn't mind any of it. Today it made me so happy to hear the loud. Because it was happy loud. It was excited loud.
And if I get my wish of seven kids, I am going to have to get used to the loud. Especially if they are anything like me.
And then the crazy happy busy day came to an end. I rocked Beth to sleep, cuddling her and happily watching as her eyelids fluttered and her hands searched for my mouth. I don't know why, but she loves to put her fingers in my mouth when she falls asleep. I don't like it. I try to wrap her arms in tight, but she will fight until those little fingers are in my mouth. If I clamp my lips tight, she will pry and pry in her half awake state, scratching my mouth, until I give in. I wrapped her tight, trying to avoid the fingers in my mouth ordeal and hummed her lullaby. Poor girl seems to be having a hard time with the teething and is not sleeping well. And so I cuddled her. Quietly rocking and humming seemed to help all the noise of the day ooze its way out of me. The quiet of the evening settled around, and sealed this day with joy and noise and peace all at once. I snuggled her close, and then put her in bed.
Next, it was Faye's turn. I got my laptop out for her and let her play on TeachYourMonsterToRead.com. Best website I have found to teach kids to read. It is amazing! Faye has to have 20 minutes of learning games and 20 minutes of reading time with me a day. When she gets 30 days in a row, she will earn a new barbie. She is thrilled and determined to get it. I love seeing her excited about learning. While she played her game, Keith and I cuddled on the couch, and I read The BFG by Roald Dahl to him. It was bliss. And then we switched. While Keith played on TYMTR, Faye and I cuddled in her bed and I read stories to her. And then it was time for her prayers.
Can I just tell you, hers are the best prayers I have ever had the privilege of hearing? When I told her to talk to Heavenly Father, to tell him about her day, she really took it to heart. And she does that. Very conversationally she tells what she has done during the day, she shares her favorite joke of the day with Him, and she does it all so innocently and lovingly. She will sometimes ask for help with things, but for the most part, her prayers are just as if she were talking to a parent about her day. It melts my heart every single time she prays. I did have to tell her to not tell jokes during family prayers or blessing the food. She asked why everyone doesn't share their jokes with Heavenly Father, and do I think He likes them. It brought a smile to my lips. I couldn't help it. I thought about it for a moment, and you know what? I am sure He does like it. He likes to see us happy, and to know what makes us happy, and if it was a simple joke, I am sure He would love to hear about it. The innocence of children is quite humbling, isn't it?
And then we switched again. I got Keith off the computer, took him down, said prayers with him and tucked him in bed. I told him that I am going to have Faye teach him how to pray, because I am not sure I have ever heard such an all encompassing rote memorized prayer ever. He prayed for everything and everyone everywhere. He does that in all his prayers. And that we can have a good morning, a good afternoon and a good night. That is his whole prayer. I tried to get him to do it again, and it was just as bad as the first time. It's a learning process, I guess. Keith agreed to let Faye teach him to pray better, but vowed it would be the only thing she ever taught him. Ever. For the rest of his life, as long as he lived. I kissed his super kissable cheek despite his pretended protests, tucked the blankets all around him extra snuggly and reluctantly said good night. Often times I live for the moment all kids are asleep as I am just so worn out, but today it was different. I didn't want the day to end. I didn't want to say goodnight to them because I wanted to keep all three with me, exploring with them, and laughing over the silly things they come up with.
I have to say, after far too long, I think the magic in our lives is finally back.
At least it was today.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!