Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Today... a BIG BASS!

This morning, I looked down to see yet another one of Barrett's creations. I think this kid is going to be an engineer someday. Or an architect. Or maybe a builder, like daddy. He just loves to build. In this case, the train was delivering lots of packages to the farm. William and I both spotted Barrett driving it as I was asking William to get dressed and go to the bathroom. "Can I watch Barrett make this turn?" William asked eagerly. "It's going to be a tight turn!"

Before 9 AM, I got a phone call from my mom. As she began to speak I felt my heart sink. Two years ago I had gotten the same phone call: my cousin Chris and his wife Wan Chin, both concert musicians who live in California, were in town for the summer and playing at my grandma's independent living facility. Today. Two years ago, when I had gotten the last-minute notification, I had not attended with the boys. Why? Not sure. I would've been pregnant with Neva at the time. It's also over an hour drive to Waltonwood, and apparently I was not up for it that day. I didn't feel up for it this morning, either. My first thought was, why is this always a last minute thing? My second thought was, I have so much to do today! I can't go. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the things I had to do today were not that important. I had a fresh little baby who had not yet met his great grandma, and also had not met his great aunt Sue, who absolutely loves babies and I didn't know the next time I was going to get to see her. Since she lives in Grand Rapids. I also had two boys, One who had, a year and a half ago, been obsessed with the big bass, and who were both getting to be school aged. And I'm a homeschool mom, after all, or at least I will be, right? And a homeschool mom wouldn't pass up this opportunity. Plus, the only way my mom is going to go with if I went, and I just felt like it would be good for us to be there.

So… We went! And I am so very glad we did. First of all, the boys had apparently gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, because in the couple hours before it was time to leave to pick up my mom, they were being absolute pills. They each were disciplined for things they absolutely know are wrong. Barrett bit William, and William was trying to pull Barrett's pants down. Beyond that, they just were not getting along, knocking each other's block towers over and taking each other's toys. I had had it up to HERE by 10:30 AM. If we had not left the house for this, I may have locked them in separate bedrooms for the rest of the day. Once in the car, things settled down, especially when we picked up Grandma. God bless my mom. Where I would just bark at William: "Put your shoulder strap on!" - She instead takes time to explain why a shoulder strap will help in an accident, using her hands to demonstrate what happens when you crash and are wearing only a lap belt. We swung through the drive-through at McDonald's and, thanks only to my mom, who was sitting in the middle row and able to distribute all the food, the kids ate happily all the way to grandma's house. I ordered three large fries, And while I did eat about half an order myself, the kids pretty much polished off all the rest. William ate an entire large fry himself, plus extra. Barrett and Neva finished a 10 piece chicken nugget between the two of them and William scarfed down his hamburger. Mom and I enjoyed our lattes. And we were not late for the concert!

Once we were there, Aunt Sue scooped up Mac right away. Mom was able to get Neva to sit happily on my grandma's lap, and she stayed there for pretty much the entire concert. The boys sat so nicely the entire time Chris and Wan Chin were playing. My mom, bless her heart again, walked the boys over at one point to watch Wan Chin's fingers fly across the keys. Their talent was incredible. They showcased little-known pieces (at least, to me) from different musical periods. Before each one, they shared history about the composer of each piece. The music was a good mix of elegant, slow pieces, and lively dances. At one point, Chris was playing the bass so quickly that Barrett was laughing out loud. I snapped my fingers at him to quiet down, and he did, but I really hated to do that, because it was so precious.

The other residents loved seeing the kids, and afterward they all remarked how well the boys behaved, sitting there so nicely. I have to admit, though, that I was a little bit dismayed by the boys' behavior as we visited afterward. This is going to sound like an excuse, and I suppose it is to some degree, but it's just the truth that Barrett gets naughtier and rowdier the more tired he is. And as the afternoon stretched on, and he did not get his afternoon nap, you bet he kept trying to wrestle with William, kept failing to use an inside voice, and kept draping himself all over the floor and furniture. William too, did not always keep both feet planted on the floor and crawled under the coffee table once or twice. I wish I was able to visit a little bit more, but their bad behavior increased when I was distracted. I was so happy my mom was there to help me manage them, especially when Mac had a giant blowout and needed a clothing change.  Thankfully, most of the residents had gone back to their rooms by this point, and there was no concert for us to interrupt, but I was still a bit embarrassed. Oh well!

(This lady, talking to Neva and my grandma, was something else. She pinched and squeezed all the kids, exclaiming, "I love you! I love you!" I didn't know what to do, and the kids were so shocked that they just stood there and let her assault them however she pleased. She cupped their faces in her hands and kissed them and then put her hands on her hips and started wiggling back-and-forth, instructing the boys to "shake your tushie!")

Grandma Neva and her little namesake!

Grandma meets Mac! 

The whole fam. The little girl on the left, William was sure a fan of her. While I was changing Mac, apparently the two of them played with his cars. William just loved her. He asked for the rest of the day, can Kendall come over to my house?? I didn't formally meet Kendall's parents, who are related to Chris on the other side of his family, and they live in Novi, so I'm not exactly sure we're going to be able to make this happen. I suppose if he really keeps asking about it, I can text my Aunt Sue for Kendall's mommy's phone number. 

All in all, we spent a few hours in the car, 20 bucks at McDonald's, and an unforgettable afternoon. I'm so so thankful that we went. I would not have otherwise remembered this day for any special reason. (Perhaps the only thing I would've remembered it for would've been my very naughty boys this morning.) But now we have a memory of seeing a big bass

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