For whats turning out to be a yearly event, Joan and Derek dropped their children off at our place for the weekend, last weekend. Here’s the deal; Joan and Derek go to snow camp with the youth from their church, and in exchange Greg and I get to spend some quality time with the kids. Its a deal we really like and have started to look forward too.
So thursday afternoon the Gilmores arrived ahead of a snow storm. We visited and made dinner but by 9pm it was clear that if Derek and Joan wanted to have a stress free drive back to Oshawa they were going to have to leave that night instead of the next morning. Things went pretty smoothly for all of us and within 30 minutes of them leaving the kids were washed, tucked into bed and fast asleep.
The next day Greg went to work and I spent the day with the kids. We had a lot of fun; Elliot and the dog became best friends, and Anne relished the new space. She created whole worlds in her mind and ran from room to room acting out battles and victories and when she needed a drink or a snack she came to me with that charming little smile of hers. Elliot demonstrated his intellect by playing Super Paper Mario on the Wii, and his over abundant affection for my dog by declining a chance to play at the play house in McDonalds because it just wasnt fair for them to have fun while Buttons had to stay at home by herself. We ate cookies and gave each other tons of hugs and drank liters of chocolate milk, and when we got tired of that we went for a drive, listened to music and visited uncle Greg at work. Anne took a nap for an hour while Elliot and I bonded and before we knew it Greg was home, bringing Faith with him. We had a nice family dinner and suddenly the day was over – the kids were once again washed, tucked in and out cold.
On Saturday we decided to do something fun with the little ones so we headed into London to the Coven Garden Market. Greg and Faith skated on the outdoor rink while the little ones and I browsed the market and discovered a helocoptor ride. After a snack we took Faith to her friends for a sleep over and then took the kids bowling. They had a blast. The alley was lit with black lights and I happened to be wearing white, and afterwards we ordered pizza and had a nice dinner at home (so Elliot could share with the dog of course) :D.
It was such a fun weekend and the days flew by. The kids are developing such different personalities and every time they said something I found myself even more adoring of them then I was before. Everything from waking up with Anne in my bed rubbing her stuffed dog on my face to looking at Elliots tear stained face when he realized he had to say good bye to buttons. On our last night together, the kids attacked the dog and dressed her up, then the 3 of them posed for a picture. It was way too cute.
I think the best illustration of their differences though came at the very end of our visit, while we were at the Gilmores having dinner before coming back home. Elliot looked at his father and said, "Sometimes I forget that hell is a real place". Derek said, "thats good Elliot". Then after a few moments of silence Elliot looks around the table and says, "no, its not good. If we forget about hell then we’ll start to think that everyone can go to heaven". Greg and I looked at each other, amazed by how deep this little 5 year old is. I took a moment to marvel at how my sister Joan could have such a brilliant boy and looked down at Anne next to me to see what profound comment she would add to that. With an adoring look she batted her eyelashes and said, "you can call me cutie pie if you want".
Suddenly, everything was back to normal :D. I do miss them though, and I’m already looking forward to next year. Oh, Enjoy the video!