Bastian came up to me with a giant dragon claw on one hand, deeply impressed by his own clever disguise. I cried out when he roared at me, as any good mother should (this despite being unsure that "good mother" is even a title I deserve these days). I made him stand back so I could get the whole of the costume: dragon claw, garden glove, and purse (made of an old Crown Royal bag - and I don't drink Crown Royal, by the way). I remember using Crown Royal bags for purses and collections when I was a wee one as well. I also remember my mom carrying a crochet hook and some yarn around in one, which is funny because she never really did get the hang of crochet. I guess she tried it out enough, however. Inside Bastian's bag were the bits of balsa wood from a Tyrannosaurus rex model that the staff of the Discovery Center gave to me in exchange for filling out the dinosaur guide survey thing. One piece broke within the hour and the other dinosaur was done for by the end of the day. Both went in the trash. I wasn't sure of their chemical content, so I opted for trash over compost.
A few minutes later, the costume abandoned, I heard my dad freaking out about something Bastian was doing. I came into the kitchen to discover it was Bastian climbing into the play kitchen head-first that had him in such an uproar. I myself found it amusing and ran after the camera.
After a bit, though, I acquiesced to my father's paranoia and recommended that Bastian crawl in from the bottom rather than the top. My dad thinks he's going to break his neck or get stuck or something. I'm sure he could, but having crazy wild sons, I can't spend all my time worrying about such things. I'm much more concerned with whether they eat bugs off the floor or brush their teeth often enough.
My dad departed in the late afternoon, after I finally heard from Jon about where he was at. Jon had last emailed me on Wednesday, informing me that they were leaving Oaxaca at 1 a.m. that night to return to Mexico City at 7 a.m. where they would have free internet once again. Then two days went by with not a word. I finally got the following message at 1:16 p.m.:
sorry. plans changed. the short version is, we were kidnapped by the girls in Oaxaca and forced to go to the beach. I just got into Mex. City and will make my flight. See you tonight!I had actually begun to be a bit concerned about them because I got an email from the girlfriend of Jon's traveling partner, Kevin, asking whether or not I'd heard anything. I just hoped they weren't stranded in the mountains or anything. Later on, I got a second email from her that she still hadn't heard from them, so it was left to me to inform her that they ran off with some girls to the beach. Not exactly the thing you want to hear secondhand. I'm wondering if Kevin will kill me or maybe just refuse to further aid me in developing my website. Hopefully the news was not ill-received and I have nothing to worry about.
Shortly after my father left, Ana came with Jonas and Lavinia to visit and help me get my house back in order. I dusted, cleaned the bathroom, made the beds, did all the laundry, and put all the assorted things that were out-of-place back where they belong. Then we decided to take the kids to the park. Aleks and Jonas both insisted on the Dreaded Big Park. We had to take the wagon, in that case. It was really, really heavy with four kids aged 3-6.
Bastian is the only one who let me get close enough to photograph him as the others were all running in opposite directions, ignoring instructions to not climb the three-story slide when eight other children were trying to slide down, and generally running amok. Every time I type that word, it reminds me of this monologue where the character says, "amok! amok! amok!" but I cannot for the life of me recall where it's from. ...So I love Google because I now discovered it's from that seminal classic, Hocus Pocus. But of course.Ana at first questioned whether Bastian would be able to hold onto this plastic pipe to slide across like James Bond. I assured her that he was plenty able, as he'd done it half a dozen times the other day when we were at the Dreaded Big Park with Grandma Cat. He is most excellently strong. Or at least able to support his own body weight with a thick knot of rubber under his butt.
Aleks and Jonas found some sticks and began dangerously-pointy-sword fighting.
I thought they'd outgrown this, but it seems they just choose far more dangerous sticks now that they are school(ha!)-aged.
As we were getting ready to depart, we spied lots and lots of kids rolling down the side of the hill, so our four had to of course join in. Neither Aleks nor Bastian could keep their legs straight. Aleks kept rolling sideways across the hill rather than down. Lavinia did quite well, however. Jonas decided, in the end, that he preferred running to rolling.
After the Dreaded Big Park, we stole a ton of lilacs from the Bank, each of the kids insisting on their own twig, and myself after a full bouquet to scent my home before the flowers all turn and drop off. I love lilacs. Ana and I agreed that aside from Hyacinths, there is no finer scent in a flower. It's a shame their blooming period lasts only about a week-and-a-half. The only redeeming aspect of such short a bloom is that it always coincides with Mother's Day. I have given bunches of lilacs to both of my mothers on so many Mother's Days, it is impossible to count.
We pulled the wagon onward, stopping to get some food from Tommy's for the kids and Hunan Coventry for the mamas. At home, we ate, then hurried to finish cleaning up before we were to rush off to the airport. We got back later than I expected and my insane urge to make Jon acknowledge that I am phenomenal having such a pristinely clean and beautiful home after eleven days virtually alone with the children, set me back a few minutes.
Just when we were getting the boys' jammies on to get in the car, I went to check the flight status. I discovered to much relief that his flight was 19 minutes late, thus I would be perfectly on time for his arrival. Then I decided to open Outlook to quickly check my email. And there it was. Two emails from Jon.
happy mother's day!The second email informed me that it would be another half-day alone with the children. His flight scheduled to arrive at 5 p.m. on Sunday. There would be no Mother's Day Peace Picnic for us, no breakfast in bed for me, and the dwindling likelihood of even a dinner of salmon like I get every year for Mother's Day. Instead, Ana and I nursed the youngest children to sleep simultaneously - me in front of that email at the desk and she on the brand-new-gorgeous-red-couch-which-Aleks-is-already-destroying, the scent of lilacs wafting through the air.
so...yeah. i got on the plane, they closed the door, then the ground crew found a leak on my plane so I am back in the hostel. My flight leaves at 930am, I will email you again when I check my arrival time in cleveland.
Really wanted to give you your mother's day presents. so sorry. I will email you again tonight.
After awhile, in which Jonas and Aleks watched the Lego Indiana Jones mini-movies that Rachel sent me and Bastian and Lavinia slept, Ana decided to leave me alone alone, in my pristinely clean house, empty, save for two sleeping children. I stayed up too late drinking beer and watching Everything is Illuminated, and wrote in my journal before finally succumbing to shared sleep with Bastian in my bed, hiding my breasts from him, lest he mangle them any more than he already has.