One night while Jennie and Quentin were here, Clay and I were stealthily getting ready for bed. Stealthy because Sophia was curled up on her blanket nest by our bed, and she is a light sleeper.
"You know," I whispered to Clay, "we could live like this if we had to." He pulled me close, and growled into my neck, "THE HELL WE COULD."
See above: Sophia is a light sleeper.
Oh, he makes me laugh. But as I climbed into bed, still chuckling, I thought again, we could. We could live like this if we had to.
Of course, this is madness. Our house was stuffed full of family and things and a two-year-old who didn't understand why the baby insisted on TOUCHING all her TOYS. There were moments when I just pulled my elbows in against my sides and closed my eyes, taking a few deep breaths in an attempt to shake off the feeling that I was completely hemmed in.
But hemmed in by what? By all my people, all in the two main rooms of the house. The boys hovered around Quentin, charmed by his jolly, easy-going ways. Sophia orbited him with anxious curiosity. And Quentin walked back and forth and back and forth, holding onto Sophia's yellow chair. He's just on the verge of being a walker (took a few first steps while he was here, even), and walking is fascinating - a revelation! He would make his way into the kitchen, then look up with delighted surprise to see whoever was there, then turn around and head back into the living room. Delighted surprise! Turn around! Whoa! Look who's here!
We kind of like him around here. He's a little bit cute - you know, in that soul-searingly perfect beauty sort of way. You have never seen a happier baby, either. He's totally chill - except when he realizes that food is coming, and he is instantly reduced to panicked starvation. Look at those cheeks. The child is clearly being starved, amIright?
Having Jennie back in the fold for a while was...I was going to say "a treat," but that doesn't really cover it, does it? It was more like a drink of water after a long thirsty time. It is better to have her around. It just is.
Of course, she is also 19 and figuring out her life. It's hard not to be overbearing, to horn in and tell her ALL THE WISDOM that it is obvious she is DYING to benefit from. I tried, I really did. I think I was marginally successful. Say, 51%. I really want her to be okay. That's all.
They went home Monday, and suddenly the house was oversized and quiet. We have a little sock that was left behind, and some diapers. They have our hearts.
It doesn't matter, because it's not happening, but we could live like that. There is always room here.