last week, you could find me in a small town in illinois. I packed up the bambinos and spent a week at grandma and grandpa's house (while freedom-boy ward feasted on brown sugar pop-tarts, attended numerous midnight movies, slept peacefully through the night and ran recklessly through the house in his most rancid and ragged boxers, yelling YEEHAW). I could write for days about so many little adventures and have been stuck for several minutes now over the very thought. I want the words to flow effortlessly and form lyrically descriptive sentences that speak of cornfields and peaceful small-town nights, but I am so tired. and what is coming from my mind is this: it was good. it was not always easy, but it was good.
ava spent hours playing with my old barbie dolls (cher with her hair whacked off and the lovely and decaying farrah fawcett). she has been talking about this trip, salivating over these barbies for weeks and weeks. and when it came time to pack up and come back home, she did not want to go. who could blame her? we visited mema's best friend out in the country where we saw the most beautiful horses. infinite cornfields and aging red barns, it all really does exist. and yes, there was fresh air to be taken into the lungs.
the fabulous grandma that my mom is, she had cookies with pink icing and lucky charms cereal on hand. she read many, MANY books, dragged out countless old toys and helped ava to set up the mother of all barbie homes. we had a delightful time catching lightening bugs in the front yard to take with us at bedtime. and she stayed with the munchkins while I visited my favorite local thrift store (best find: little black vintage clutch for a dime. THAT'S TEN PENNIES, PEOPLE). she tirelessly followed ezra up and down the stairs while I grabbed moments of alone time in the cosmetics section of wal-mart. so many little acts of kindness, mom. too many to name. thank you.
ezra drove me a little nuts. actually, he drove me to a place of craziness inside myself that I have not visited in awhile. he was into everything and going full-speed at 73,000 m.p.h ALL THE TIME. the nights were the worst and I have not experienced such sleep deprivation since the first days he was born. I was jarred from sleep several times each night and often found myself standing and holding him at four in the morning. sitting/reclining in any way was not acceptable and often met with high-pitched screams and full-body protests. only when I was standing perfectly still did his little body relax into sleep. this is such a torturous thing to do when you're in that drunken half-asleep state that is usually so delicious. too tired to cry, I felt it necessary to devour as many little cupcakes as possible while watching the magic bullet infomercial in the dark. I've decided that everyone should own a magic bullet. and if you have to ask what the magic bullet is, then you are missing out on a world of goodness.
the ez had his moments, though. they were so ridiculously sweet that all the dark hours I spent in sleepless frustration must be forgiven. on one of our nightly walks in the neighborhood, he learned that if he held the pinwheel up in the air, the wind would make it spin. his little squeals of glee upon this discovery were almost more than I could take. we continued to walk through the quiet, my cheeks wet with tears. everything sounds different in a small town. I can say this because I grew up in a very small southern illinois town. it really is quiet, there really are the sounds of crickets. and people sit out on their front porches.
every moment seemed so full of some sort of something going on, something always happening. I'm having difficulty believing it all went down in the course of seven days. there was a lovely lunch with my best friend, such a rare luxury that I could cry just thinking about it. there was a visit with my great aunt louraine, one of the most fantastic women I have known in my lifetime. there was the momentous occasion of ava placing the stamps on her birthday party invitations and then the big walk across the street to the post office where she dramatically mailed them herself. there was ezra imitating mema and papa's dogs barking, learning to say 'thank you' and feeding himself (and everyone around him) ice cream for the first time. I never got tired of the sight of the old downtown movie theatre marquee lighting up each night. and my dad and ezra-- they were amazing together.
there's so much more. there was a trip to ryan's buffet that needs to be addressed, the discovery of some splendid vintage gift wrap (courtesy of my great aunt lo-lo) and my inability to allow ward to guiltlessly experience a little bit of freedom. oh, there's so much more but I'm feeling the need to stop here and possibly do some sleeping. it was good. it was greatness.