For the last 10 days I have been at Marla’s house with her 4 boys while she and Mike celebrated their 20th anniversary in Cancun. I was nervous about doing this, not so much about taking care of the boys, but more about being away from home for so long. I have a comfortable place all my own in our little apartment. Staying in someone else’s house isn’t always so comfortable. Where do I sleep? What about the bathroom? Four boys will create a lot of dirty dishes, and dirty dishes really gross me out. The truth is, I’m set in my ways, and like things just so. You don’t get much ‘just so’ in a house full of kids. But, I summoned all of my courage, packed up my stuff, and went to Marla’s. After a couple of days I was settled into the routine, and then started to really like the domestic life. Here are a few highlights, observations, impressions, etc.
Zac and Josh, 16 and 14, are remarkably self-sufficient. Marla has told me many times that they’re okay to take care of things themselves, and she wasn’t lying. My first evening there, Josh fired up the grill and made us all burgers and hot dogs, and they were tasty. Wednesday I came home to find Zac cooking meat for tacos, with homemade salsa. Zac has been doing laundry. Josh got himself packed and out the door this morning for scout camp. Every time I’ve thought that I might need to help with something, I’ve found out that they’ve already done it. Remarkable.
Jonah, 9, is equally responsible. He’s back in school now, and that little boy sets his own alarm clock, gets up and dressed, gets his own breakfast and leaves the house right on time. My first morning there I got up with him and went into the kitchen to get him off to school and ended up wondering why I was there. He didn’t need a thing. Even his backpack was ready to go. After the first couple of mornings I didn’t even try to help. I said hello to him, asked how he was, and then went to the bathroom to get ready for work.
And then there’s William. I’ve never been so in love. With the older boys being so independent, William was really the reason I was there, to take care of him. He’s at a great age. He can talk, and is potty trained (hooray), but still little enough to pick up and squeeze. He’s bossy, and a bit spoiled (who did that I wonder?) and also sweet, and he gets excited about the littlest things, and it’s so much fun. He does like to get into things. I wish, literally wish, that I had a dollar for every time I looked at him and said, “What are you doing?!” The Visa card would be paid off.
Like I said, I’ve gotten very comfortable in my life. It’s simple, and I’ve come to not only like but sometimes revel in being single. All that’s mine is all my own. But, after a week of playing with boys I can see why girls want to get married and have a family. Especially when William comes running to me for a hug and says, “I love you, G.” I know, it’s all very Lifetime Channel made-for-tv-movie, very cliché, but having family is better. It’s better than being on your own. It’s a damned frustrating realization, but one has to face the truth. I’ll have to make Marla leave town again very soon.