It's been a quiet week on the blog but quite a full one at home. We began the week playing grandparents to Emma (6), John Thomas (3), and Garrett (1) while their parents and our dear friends, Lillian and Leon, traveled to Pinehurst for a job interview. The kids arrived Sunday afternoon and were with us til late Monday afternoon.
I think the highlight for the kids was our walk around the neighborhood on Sunday evening. When we came to the spray painted driveway of a neighbor up the street, the kids were invited to join in the fun and spray paint a picture on the as yet unpainted portion of the driveway up near the house. Now every time I have walked or driven past this driveway, I have thought, "Oh, how ugly, weird, strange...you couldn't do THIS in most neighborhoods around here with the home owner's associations and covenants." I have thought of it more as an eyesore than anything else. Well, I have softened a bit after spending an hour in Janey's driveway. She cheerfully invited the kids, who were transfixed by the pictures on the driveway, to come up to the unpainted area at the top and help fill it with color by adding their own pictures. She gleefully pulled out can after can of spray paint and Emma and John Thomas had a blast spray painting smiley faces, lady bugs, and random swaths of color across the driveway. Turns out lots of the kids in the neighborhood have contributed to this driveway art. As I watched Emma and John Thomas spray painting away, I started thinking about creativity and the freedom to explore different ways of expression, and how kids are excited about just about any opportunity to try their hand at a new medium. It was a happy hour watching and helping them create. It ended with neighbor, Charlie, gently cleaning John Thomas's red, spray paint covered fingers with paint thinner. I was slightly alarmed at this since John Thomas loves to put his middle two fingers in his mouth. But I told him he had to keep his fingers out of his mouth til we got home. He happily complied and we scrubbed and scrubbed when we got home. It was not until bedtime that he finally asked, "Can I put my fingers in my mouth now?" "Yes, sweetheart, they're clean." Fingers went in the mouth, eyes closed, and one contented three year old slept peacefully allll night long.
On Monday, we visited the playground, swam, jumped on the trampoline, played with cars, Legos, and trains, and felt very thankful for little boys who took long afternoon naps. Emma enjoyed the quiet time to roll the dice for Coty and Joel's backgammon games and I even made a trip to Tarheel Bark for hardwood mulch...but more on that later.
The Goudas kids headed home late in the afternoon on Monday and we shifted gears that evening with a garden task that has been in the conceptual stages for a while....