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Monday, July 7, 2008

Check in any time you like, we might not let you leave!

So, the big whirlwind that happened in our house just in time for Fourth of July? The one that involved all that atristery business? Well, I finally have a minute to share.

Thursday was a fabulous day. Sweetheart, MH, and I headed for the beach, to be joined later by Poppy and Uncle DKR. MH had a ball spending the afternoon playing with her friends, then being surprised by the arrival of two of the most beloved people in her life. The perfect day was completed by Hubby coming to meet us after work, and our little family of three driving further into Narragansett for some special "us" time and an authentic RI summer dinner of clamcakes and chowda'.

Sure, I might have overdone it just a bit, but with days like that sometimes you just have to go with it.

So I was lying in bed with a heating pad when my phone rang at just past 11PM. I was not alarmed by this - it seemed I had just finally sat down for the day and didn't even realize what time it was.

My mom was on the other end of the line, extremely calm considering what she was about to tell me. They'd been sitting in the family room when all of a sudden lights started popping, going super-bright, going brown, making smoke - you name it! Thinking quickly, they grabbed the dogs (Uncle DKR had Shay with him, and they've got a little Cocker Spaniel named Cassidy) and their cell phones, and headed outside to call 911.

Within minutes, numerous fire engines were there. Once the electric company came, it was declared that their house was unsafe to be in until an electrician could come out and diagnose the problem (why do these things always happen as you're heading into a holiday weekend?), and their electricity was shut off from outside of their house.

My mom said she thought they were going to need a place to stay, and hoped it wouldn't be too much of an imposition.

Imposition? Are you kidding? Not that I would ever want them to be in any kind of danger (nor their home), but I was thrilled that FINALLY we would somehow have the opportunity to repay them in some tiny way for ALL that they do for us! I mean, my poor Mom signed up to be a grandma when MH was born - not a mommy all over again.

Have I mentioned that since I have developed my back problems and had to endure subsequent treatments and then surgeries, she has been here Every. Single. Day to take care of us? DH leaves for work, and she is on - sometimes until 10:00 at night. My parents have been here through tax seasons, DH finishing up his MBA (going to school nights, of course), and any/everything else we have ever needed them for. They have foregone vacations, time with friends, and plenty else to be here when we needed them. And back problems or not, that's just the kind of people they are.

So of course I was thrilled to open the Hotel K!

Within an hour, our humble abode had more than doubled in occupancy. We'd gone from 2 adults and a 3 year old to 5 adults, a 3 year old, and 2 dogs. The airbed was inflated and inhabited by my parents and their dog. The comfy leather sectional because home to Uncle DKR and Shay.

And although everyone was tired, emotionally spent (I speak for the parentals and brother on that end), all we could talk about was MH's reaction in the morning. We knew she'd go nuts when she saw everyone here.

Looking back on it, that is so typical of my family. The house was safe -having been checked from attic to basement and with the electricity turned off, there was no concern of fire. They had been allowed in with a flashlight to gather some personal items, and whatever else they needed, we had. While the situation was stressful, they were comforted to be with us, and looking forward to the reaction MH would have to the big party in her house when she woke up.

And a party it was!

MH absolutely adores her Uncle DKR. And Shay. And "Cassie". And of course Sweetheart and Poppy go without say.

When she woke up, she couldn't get over everyone in her house, still in their jammies (well, minus my type-A dad, who was showered and dressed long before anyone else woke up - instead of waiting for a fresh bar of soap, he used MH's lavender bedtime bath). And, living in her wonderful world of "WHY", she had plenty of questions about all of it.

The best part of my waking up was getting to overhear the conversation between MH and Uncle DKR. She talks to him in this deep, giggly voice. She is a flirt. She is impressed by all he does, and tries equally hard to impress him. And it does not take much. They have a very special relationship. He told her all about the electricity, and she quickly came to report the whole story to me.

"Sweetheart and Poppy's atristery is broken, Mommy! Isn't dat silly? Dey gonna need a eletristeran to come fix it! Dey slept at MY house in dis bed! Isn't dat silly? Dey gonna sleep here again, Mommy?"

On and on it went. Instead of having 2 playmates, she had 5 (plus 2 canine friends to torture). And of course, a completely captive audience.

A great time was had by all.

She went to a huge 4th of July party at the beach with everyone (Mommy couldn't get out of bed due to said "overdoing it a bit" the day before). We spent Saturday together (and when she went to bed had a fun sushi/movie/slumber party at my insistence). On Sunday morning I awoke to "I'm goin' to coffee with Sweetheart and Poppy and Daddy!" and got to rest in a bit. Then we all went down to the beach again for a beautiful afternoon complete with a fabulous dinner with great family friends.

Uncle DKR had gone home on Saturday night and when he told MH he and Shay wouldn't be there in the morning, her eyes filled up and she wouldn't talk to him. It was heartbreaking. And last night was the last night Sweetheart and Poppy stayed, as they were finally able to get back into their house today.

I think we were all a little sad today.

My parents thought they were imposing on us. They apologized for this and that, and acted like we were doing them the biggest favor in the world.

But what I don't think they realized was how much we loved having them here. How wonderful it was for MH to have her choice of bedtime story readers each night, different snuggle-time buddies, and canine playmates at her disposal. For her to be able to fully share her world with all of them. How wonderful it was for me to watch her snuggle in the airbed in the morning with my brother and the dogs, or watch she and my mom lying in bed reading a counting book together.

While she may be used to being surrounded by loved ones, having them here in her world for 4 full days was truly a wonderful experience for our little MH.

And it was for us too. Not just because of the extra hands or endless entertainment and companionship for MH. Not just because we were happy to be able to do them a favor. But because I've been a "grown-up" for a long time now, and it's been a really long time since I've slept under the same roof as my mom and dad.

And to have them here in the home we've made for our little family, watching us being the mom and dad, well, it was pretty special. And even more special was seeing how absolutely normal the entire situation was to MH - hearing snippets of her conversations with everyone, having them see her at her absolute best and absolute worst (which of courses, they hardly ever see).

It was one of the best definitions of family I know.

We missed you at bedtime tonight, Mom and Dad. I hope it goes without say, but you are always welcome in our home, whether for an hour or ninety-six. You have taught me what family is, and I hope I've done you proud in executing those lessons.

And, I might have to insist on an annual sushi/movie/slumber party from now on - just because. Only next time, we'll go for a movie that's gotten rave reviews.

Thank you for giving us the honor of opening Hotel K for its most special guests - there is always room for you here.

15 Fabulous Replies:

Jill said...

I've now seen you on a few blogs I frequent, and had to come on over!

You are too cute! I'm Jill, nice to meet you.

debbie said...

OK, so now you have me in tears! I wish I had your way with the written word, and that being said, we CAN make this a yearly event. (not the smoke, etc, just the slumber party part.) Through this whole ordeal with your back and artristery episode, the closeness that we continue to have and grow gets more and more priceless. As your Mom, I am more than thankful for this time. I think that as you get better and you take back more of your life, this Mom will have withdrawal and not know what to do with her 'free' time. I love you more than words can say, love your blog, keep on writing. DH, MH, MLTB,thanks so much for our whole jammy party. Loved it.

Simply Shannon said...

Now I'm going to have to call my Mom today. Not that that's a bad thing...but I definitely have to do that today after reading that.
I love how close you are with your family. You don't see enough of that these days. I'm like that with my family, except from 1,000 miles away.

Shannon said...

How wonderful that an unfortunate event turned into something so special for your whole family!! It's great when family is visiting, my kids really get a kick out of it too. We are heading out East to visit my entire family in a couple weeks - I can't wait. And I'll get to eat clamcakes and chowda too (I am from Nova Scotia, I thought we were the only people who said "chowd-ah", lol!!!).

Allison R said...

What a sweet story. I'm thankful everything is ok at your parents house, but think it's wonderful that MH was able to spend nights and mornings with her grandparents. There is nothing better than watching your child with her grandparents.

I loved how MH wouldn't talk to Uncle DKR because he was leaving.

Have a great week.

Heather at A Boy, A Girl, & A Pug said...

Isn't it great when you can be surrounded my family! I just love it when my folks come to visit.

Melissa said...

Aww, MH so reminds me of how Kendra was when my Mom and Dad came to help us move, then when they were here when I had the baby and then again when I had my surgery. It's so great when they get a chance to show off "their" world!

Very cute and sweet little story!

What ever ended up being the problem with your mom and dad's artristery?

Beth said...

Family bring out the best and worst in people, don't they? What a great story.

Ladybug's Picnic said...

I too love having my family come and stay with us. We finally have a guest room and my mom's spent a handful of nights here since I've been recovering from surgery. I often tell her I wish she could sleep here EVERY night!

duchess said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I'm glad everything worked out.

Lipstick said...

What a precious story! What a wonderful family you have!

Wendi said...

Great story!
Thanks for sharing.
That MH is too much!!!

Jenny said...

Glad to hear that everything is ok with your parents house. Sometimes it is nice to open up your doors and let family in for a while. I love having family in, it reminds me of childhood when we would all wake up and have a Saturday morning breakfast.
Sounds like you have a terrific family and a extra special mom.
Did you get a chance to check out the cupcake blog? there are some yummy looking ones on there!

OHmommy said...

I love impromptu family affairs. LOVE.

Shamelessly Sassy said...

This is my first time here, nice to meet you.