Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving Day and the Kids

On Thanksgiving Day, I woke up at 4:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. I wasn't particularly worried as I have plenty to do here. I listened to a couple of podcasts and played solitaire on the computer for a while, until the sun came up. It was fine.

The day was like most Thanksgiving days of the recent past, with a few cast changes. Grace is here and Catherine and Andy (Patty's sister, Julie's, kids) were not here as they are spending Thanksgiving in Chicago with their father. Then the Millers (Patty's sister, Pam's, family) showed up in the afternoon. It was a nice time getting the meal ready and eating. I like helping in the kitchen.

These kids are at that age where they're mobile and noisy. Yeah, they've always been mobile and noisy, but it's a different tone now. Maybe it's the baby noise coupled with the aftershock of three kids in the back of the car today coming home from seeing Rent in the movie theater. Travis, Patty's oldest, is at that really loud stage and he had two friends with him. They were screaming and talking at the top of their lungs making lame jokes. The more I am around kids, the more I really understand why it's probably better for me to not have kids. I could probably deal with the noise (I can get used to anything), but it's just so shocking to be around it. Plus, without kids, I can be obsessed with ME, and spend time blogging, reading and listening to podcasts.

Will and Sam (Patty's second son and Pam's son respectively) were quiet yesterday, sort of away from the action. I remember a couple of years ago when we were all in Tenessee and those two with the other one (Andy) were running around the basement. They were all really small and really toddlerish. Now they're boys, dependant, but much more able to be alone for a few hours. I actually spoke with Sam this morning while I was trying to watch some television (I've become a little addicted to Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List). We talked about how he is adjusting to Pennsylvania. He's a sweet kid, a good talker. Will has been very quiet, but acknowledges me, which is nice. He's got great moves. He dances and performs with abandon, which is really lovely to watch.

Grace is absolutely beautiful. She was bashful initially, but more friendly yesterday. Then, in the bathtub, she was smiling and really, just shining. It was that playful, completely content look, naked in the bathtub with cousin Lily. I brought a little dress from Oilily. It looks like the right size. I'm sure it will look great on her. I wish I could send her lots of stuff like that. It's just the right style, sort of quirky, like a little Chinese baby in Wyoming, Ohio. She's absolutley at home here. It's the most perfect setting. She's so fortunate, so are Patty and Bill.

Lily, who in past years referred to me as her boyfriend, is standoff-ish this year. She's five, I think. It's a phase, I hope. She seems a little lost. She doesn't have Catherine (who is around 13 or 14) and she doesn't have a posse like the other boys who are now nine. She plays with Grace and the boys, but she's a little high maintenance. She's probably be interesting to talk to at some point, but I don't think this is the year.

Of course we did karaoke. The theme this year is the Beatles. We haven't had a theme in past years, but we had one this year. John (Patty's father) probably just didn't want to lug all the CDs up here from Tennessee. It actually made it a little quicker, narrowing the song choices down to about 80 from a quintillion.

There are a few things I've been really enjoying, American things that are just not the same in Amsterdam. I'll have to write on those later.

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