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January 18, 2003

Friends and Kids

Watching your children interact with other adults is always interesting. Last night we invited JD and Kris, Mac and Pam (only Pam was able to attend), and Joel and Aimee to come for food and fellowship. Normally when we meet with this group we make arrangements for a babysitter; this time we decided our children would benefit from some interaction with these adults. Mostly, we just wanted to hang out with them ourselves.

Harrison and Emma inherited their Type A personalities from Jennifer and I (BOTH of us!). While it is true that they can have peaceful moments of reflection, witnessing these moments is normally reserved for the parents and then usually at bedtime. True to form, as soon as our guests arrived both children began to streak through the house like hummingbirds. Normally this irritates me enough to contribute to the madness by getting angry and calling loudly for time-outs, spankings, or other unnecessary punishments. Since I was in the kitchen cooking and the noise was mostly confined to the tour happening upstairs, I chose to ignore the madness. I am glad I did.

When Joel and Aimee came downstairs from the tour (with the two hummingbirds flitting about the newfound flowers) they seemed delighted by the energy and exuberance exhibited by our children. Of course Joel and Aimee are delighted by everything; a remarkable feat that I envy and hope to learn myself someday. JD and Kris, as always, amused themselves and our children with stories and thoughtful questions and a generous amount of shenanigans mixed in the latter coming mostly from JD. Pam managed to provide a distraction for me in the kitchen for a while as she explained her most recent round of testing for her full medical license. I must admit, I began to feel more frustrated as the noise level grew - screams of delight prompted by a quick chase or a tickling, frequent trips to the icemaker to spill ice all over the floor, and in general a perfectly normal childlike mayhem but I realized that our guest were relishing this chance to see true care-free play. Once I became aware of how much everyone was enjoying themselves I was able to relax and I even participated in the fun. This is a somewhat extraordinary accomplishment as I normally become annoyed when all the attention is focused on the children. We played games (a favorite pastime of the group) that the kids brought us from the cabinet. This led to more than an hour of Memory, Chutes and Ladders, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, and other assorted childrens games. Again, I usually become agitated with the short attention spans and lack of adherence to the rules that often plagues these activities. Last night I was not only able to participate calmly I actually enjoyed myself.

I was very rewarded by spending this time with my children. I am also thankful to our friends who take an interest in our children and make them feel a part of the group. We are very fortunate to have such good friends those mentioned above as well as our greater circle of friends and I feel like Harrison and Emma have so much love in their lives that they have an advantage over many other children in this respect. Thank you all.


Posted by jeremy at January 18, 2003 05:36 PM


good news of a good evening. And thanks for fixing the computer, you'll have to tell me what you did. Emma left her baby here. I shall return tomorrow. Love,

Posted by: carolyn at January 18, 2003 06:58 PM

You're wrong about the purpose of the trips to the ice-maker. They weren't meant to spill ice all-over the floor. They were meant to get ice that we could slather all over each other's faces and backs, etc. and feed to Kes and pick up off the floor and eat.


I love not having kids of my own. :)

Posted by: J.D. at January 19, 2003 01:15 PM