Home Again7:22 PM
A few hours ago, I made the solo trip home from Fayetteville. Praise God, Dorien slept almost the entire way because many times, he does not and car trips are therefore, MISERABLE!! This time, however, both he and August slept and Brooklyn watched Tangled and told me all about what was going on since I could only hear what was happening. She is a very good narrator, by the way.
Kyle and I drove up to Fayetteville together on Thursday for a couple of reasons: he had a business meeting on Friday and I had to go to my little sister's college graduation. Yes, I said that right. My baby sister just graduated from college! WHAT??!! I know.
Since Kyle was going up Thursday for work, we all got to stay in a hotel with him Thursday night! Super fun times for our family! We love hotels. Even Dorien who kept running around pointing to things and saying, WOW! That's his new exclamation.
Kyle's meeting was Friday morning and then he was driving back home with his bosses because he had a men's discipleship finale Saturday morning. This worked out fine with me because it gave me an opportunity to spend some very much over-due time with one of my longest and bestest friends, Becky. As crazy as it seemed to both of us, Becky had never met Dorien! The last time we'd seen each other, I was 6 weeks pregnant with Dorien and extremely nauseous. And even though we talk on the phone regularly enough (sort of), that is no substitute for face time.
So she and I spent the day together with my kids and her youngest, Kate, who is a week older than August. (Becky, I should mention to you that August told Kyle when we got home that he thought Kate was the prettiest of all the girls...) Anywhoo, Becky and I took the opportunity to drive to the Crystal Bridges Art Gallery. Wow. I'm so glad we did. It was not only architectural eye candy, but the art within made me giddy. I adore painting and, as you know, really really am obsessed with John Singer Sargent. After we were given the quick and dirty rules by a docent, I off-handedly asked if they had any Sargents. I was shocked when he said they did!!!! I practically squealed with delight and tore off in the general direction of them.
My kids are no strangers to art galleries and were pretty darn good. Dorien, in his stroller, kept pointing and yelling "WOW!!!" It made a momma proud. August stuck close by my side and told me which paintings he liked and why. Brooklyn and Kate held hands and played ring around the posy, accidentally touched a sculpture before being practically tackled by a docent, and acted like silly girls. They also kept begging Becky and I to let them take pictures of their favorite paintings with our iphones. It's actually interesting to see the things that attracted them. Budding art critics.
Although I am really glad Brooklyn and August were able to experience it with me, I look forward to going to Crystal Bridges again with no kids in tow and lots of time to study my favorite works. It was a place I could go over and over and spend hours in each section studying things. It's funny because while I have always loved art, I never took as much time to study technique until I began painting myself. I guess that's how it works, huh?
As 3:00 approached and Becky's older kids, Mia and Gavin, were let out of school, we headed back to her house and then spent an incredibly awesome, relaxing afternoon with our mutual dear friend, Kim, while our children played and played together. It was an afternoon of perfection. Open windows, the sound of children laughing and playing, plenty of time for us to open up the details of our lives to each other for discussion, advice and encouragement. It was everything that is great about being women, mothers and friends. I felt so deeply blessed to have that special time with them.
We later met Becky and Kim's husbands for dinner at a delicious, hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant and I ate way too much garlic bread (totally not on my nutritarian plan, but oh well!) and just enjoyed the moments. I missed my husband dearly, particularly because the long-standing connection between Becky, Greg, Kim and Chad and I so strongly includes my Kyle. But it was still a fabulous time spent very comfortably as you can only do with friends who have been an integral part of your life for many long years.
We spent the night with some other friends of ours who were so kind to open their home to us and then this afternoon, watched Rachel become a college graduate, ate pizza together at King Pizza to celebrate the final Dennis graduate. Or, as August said, a gradulate. (sort of a blend between graduate and congratulate - he may be on to something...)
And I sit here now, my back to my bedroom wall, listening to the sounds of Pepe Romero's classical guitar on 90.5FM flowing into my room from the nursery, content, relaxed and enjoying reliving the moments that made the past few days so special. Becky, Kim, I love you both so much.
My cup overflows.