The first surprise was hearing Tim's voice when I walked in the door. He was raspy and hoarse. I looked at him in horror. "Are you SICK?" He had awakened with a sore throat, and his chest was feeling tight. Tim was staying home.
The bad part of it was that I'd been so excited about going that the previous night, I'd been tossing and turning until after 11. I had to get up at 3 AM to go to work. I was extremely short sleeped, but had comforted myself with the thought that I could get five hours of sleep on the drive to Blandon. Suddenly, now, I was driving there.
I took a deep breath, bought a large unsweetened ice tea with lots of ice and headed out. We made it by 6PM. I guess the excitement of seeing Iris and hugging my kids was enough to counterbalance the exhaustion. I'm certain that the caffeine did not hurt either.
It was wonderful. Iris laughs now and I am happy to report that she finds her grandmother pretty funny stuff. I had her squealing with laughter by singing "the baby on the bus goes wah, wah, wah!" I can also induce delight by crinkling a crouton bag. We all cooked together making meatballs for the the spaghetti sauce for the baptism dinner. It was a wonderful evening.
Sunday was her baptism. She was perfectly behaved. When she heard the splashing of the water, she wriggled in the pastor's arm, trying desperately to get her little hand in the baptismal font. She came home and was passed around the room without a word of complaint. I had her cackling hysterically once again by kissing her noisily over and over again.
Brianna and I chased Dylan and Brittani out the door for a date night. It was only their second one since Iris was born. Worn out by her big day, Iris slept the whole time they were gone.
This morning, we all packed up and headed home.
William cried and cried. He adores Dylan and they played nintendo together and talked a lot. William fell asleep in the back seat for a couple hours and when he woke up, we were almost home. A quick glance into the back seat showed us that the tears were silently rolling again. He's old enough to be embarrassed to be caught crying.
When we got home, I suggested calling Dylan and Brittani on skype to say that we had arrived home. William quietly agreed, his lip quivering once again. Dylan said, "William, can you do one more magic trick for me?" William got his black suitcase labeled "William's Life Thrilling Magic" and opened it up. There, tucked in at the side was the nintendo console and game controllers.
William gaped and stared at his uncle on the computer. "How did THAT get in there?" he asked. Dylan thought perhaps it was because William really WAS magic after all. William disputed this. Dylan explained that he'd enjoyed his time playing nintendo with William and that he wanted him to have it.
William stared incredulously and then burst into tears. He cried hard. He finally remembered to thank Dylan. After we hung up, William kept looking at the nintendo. Every time that he tried to talk about it, he'd start crying again. He cried so hard that I cried too, He looked at me in surprise and then threw himself into my shoulder and cried very hard for quite a while.
"Here, here," I said, "For pete's sake, are you happy or sad? I'm having a hard time telling for sure." I rubbed the back of his head.
He stood back from me and said, "I am both." He brought one hand up, and said, "One one side, I'm happy." He brought up the other hand. "On the other side, I'm sad." He clasped them both together and said, "It's all mixed up together and that's what makes it beautiful."
It was a profound moment. I looked at his tear streaked face and his earnest desire for me to understand, and I did understand. I understood perfectly.