Sunday, June 28, 2009

Our Own Sidewalk Cafe

I am typing this at the outdoor table that's been in our front lawn all weekend.  It was one of those one-thing-after-another few days of quintessential summer weather plus a parade of people going in and out of our house, so we set up meal service there starting Friday.  Today, back down to our little family of four, we grilled burgers and ate lunch out here; tonight, we brought out platters of miscellaneous leftovers and ate dinner even as we yelled across the street to neighbors.  And now, I just don't have the heart to move it back to the side patio where it belongs.

On Friday afternoon, when some extended family was over to visit us, one relative in particular was full of questions for the girls.  "Annie, do you have a boyfriend?" he asked, one of those questions I actively HATE because, Hi, she's FOUR, let's not get ahead of ourselves.  She didn't miss a beat:  "Yes.  I have LOTS of boyfriends," she replied - meaning, I think, that she has lots of friends who are boys.  Everyone laughed, and the relative persisted.  "But who is your number one boyfriend?"  And of course she got a little quiet and said, "Ben," just like I knew she would, especially after seeing him at the pool the previous night, where he enthusiastically invited her over for a sleepover complete with a Drumstick for dessert if she ate a good dinner.

There were questions for Jemma, too.  "Who's your best friend?" was the main one, and I giggled inside, hoping she'd say one of the various answers she's given lately.  (The other morning at breakfast, we were talking about her birthday being near Christmastime, and out of the blue she announced, "Santa Claus is my Best Friend," as though she has any memory of Santa or anything else to do with Christmas.  She also bonded instantly with a little girl at the park one morning last week.  After being on the teeter-totter with her for .2 seconds, she leaned her little head back and said, "Her Is My Best Friend."  She's full of love, our Jemma.)

On Friday, though, she gave the answer I hope will be the real answer for a good portion of her life (teenage drama notwithstanding):  "Annie."

So, a good - if busy - weekend; at least we were at home, no suitcases to lug or car rides to navigate or essential items to forget.  I ran ten miles with Sarah on Saturday morning instead of doing the Reed's Lake 10K by myself, and I have to say, I was even more pleased by the fact that I can still knock out ten than I would have been with a "good" time in a race.  Jason took the girls for a bike ride this afternoon and I got to stay home and bake Banana Bread with Chocolate and Ginger (Molly Wizenberg, you are rivaling Ina Garten for my culinary affections) and lie on the couch slothfully.  We have Things to look forward to:  our traditional 4th of July events up north, Michigan strawberries, a new writing assignment for me, more time at the beach, and lots, lots more lazy summer Sundays, eating meals at a table in the front yard.

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