In the van:
Benjamin gets in with a song in his head. Well, not so much a song as four notes of the song that he blurts out intermittently during our drive.
"La, la, lahhh, la!" he shouts
Josiah chimes in, "I need 100 things for tomorrow. Its 100 day. Can I bring 100 apples?"
"Um, no bud. Not apples."
"Aww... please? I love apples."
"La, la, lahhhh, la!" Benjamin grunts.
It's 100 day for me, too!" EB announces proudly.
"I can't wait til next weekend when we have two days off... LONG weekend. Can I have friends over then? Noah asks.
"But mom, please can I bring 100 apples to school?"
"Mom? Can they come?"
"La, la, lahhh, la!" Benjamin chimes in again.
I am left wondering if he sings all day in school. I take a deep breath and try to ask about their days. I get very little information but I do find out that Alex and Shannon poked Benjamin today. His best buds. It makes me smile.
Once we get home, the dog finds the kids and much screaming ensues. She jumps up on their faces and kisses them relentlessly. Elizabeth asks to go outside. Noah scrounges for a snack.
"Mom, can I have my apple now? Is it almost 3:00?" Yep, Josiah again.
Benjamin runs screaming through the family room and the dog starts following Josiah around in hopes of eating his core.
The tv is on and Benjamin lands at the piano where he starts playing the first three lines of the theme to the Harry Potter movies... again and again and again. When the dog is at the door with a huge stick, he calls her in and she brings the stick, bonking me firmly on the head. The dog and the stick go back outside.
Time for homework and chores begins and Noah asks, "Know what we have to do with our puppy?" He lets her back in the house.
"Put peanut butter on her nose for entertainment?" Benjamin answers.
"No, we need to tie a string to the house and then tie her toy to the string so if she wants to play tug, she could play with the house."
Elizabeth comes downstairs totally soaked. In January.
"Why are you so wet??" I ask. These are the questions I never thought I would have to ask.
"I was cleaning the sink."
Clear as mud.
Noah announces that he is going to go put peanut butter on the dog's nose and everyone runs up to the kitchen to watch her try to lick it off. The boys take turns narrating what Lexie (the dog) must be thinking... what she would say if she could talk.
Benjamin comes downstairs and announces he is miraculously done with his homework. The homework I have yet to see him do.
Josiah walks through with 4 pieces of paper and a roll of tape.
"I am going to make a machine." he says.
Upstairs, I can hear Elizabeth's closet door opening and closing again and again and again. While I am staring futilely at the ceiling, Benjamin comes through to take a glance at what I am blogging about.
Laughing, he says, "It's not la, la, lahhh, la. It's dooo dooo dooodly doo."
Elizabeth walks through carrying her dirty laundry to the laundry room. Josiah is calling my name. From the living room, I can hear Noah laughing.
"Somebody come and see this! Somebody come and see!" he calls.
Benjamin and I head upstairs while Josiah explains that he has just made a machine out of paper and tape. Elizabeth is amazed and asks him bunches of questions as Benjamin and I find Noah sitting on a chair with the dog. We have pictures of him holding her when she was just a pup. Today, the tables have turned.
Overall, it is a cacophony of constant family chaos. It seems to me that there is no rhyme or reason to what is said or done and the never-ending drone of it can wear on my weary ears. And yet, there is a goodness to it all... a fullness that I know is only for today. I may yearn for a minute of rest but the truth is I have a lifetime of quiet moments before me. In just a few minutes, they will run out the door and off to college and Mark and I will be sitting here wondering where it all went. We will want for it then... the frantic family noise that fills our home right now.
So, maybe instead of going upstairs to stop the ball bouncing happening in the boy's room, I will sit here and soak it up. Maybe I will let the sound of it settle around me and try to see it for what it really is. Temporary. Necessary. Beautiful.
Blessings on your day.