Ol climbed into bed with me at 4am; 45 minutes later, I realized just how god-forsakenly early it was and returned him to his room. It was at that point that I heard the narrator's voice emanating from Jack's room, deep in the bowels of the Harry Potter #4 book-on-tape. I tiptoed to Jack's door -eager to catch him in the act; last week he lost these CDs for this very reason and had just regained their presence in his room last night- and flung it open. There he sat, simultaneously entranced and gaga with fatigue. Displeased, I grabbed the CDs, ordered him back to bed, and then returned to my own. Something of this nature always happens when Tom is gone. Maybe they don't pull this shit on him. Hmm... in any case, I've felt a bit peaked all day. Yet there was packing to be done, jam to be made, Tae Kwon Do to attend and so forth and so on. Oliver drew pics of girls while I made apricot-peach-almond jam this morning.
As if all lady knowledge coalesced in his mind at precisely the point at which he came across a large sheet of paper, he sketched a new tableau of Princess Leia (smudges on the sides of her head to represent her "cinnamon bun" hair), Padmé (a pinhead-sized dot atop her head signifies a pony tail), and Wonder Woman (always with a tiara on her forehead and golden lasso at her hip). I liked the fence of strong women that resulted! He said I couldn't tell anyone about it. Oops.
My inner voice then suggested that I really might want to get a start on packing because we leave at such a horrid time tomorrow morning, so I headed to J's room to gather his things. What did I spy in the hermit crab tank? A single leg/claw, a bit of aftermath from last week's cannibal murder. Apparently in the days just after the crime, despite the fact that T bought several new shells for Max to consider, he (Max) slunk around his home in the buff. At one point T became a combo of irritated and concerned with the crab's naked body and shoved him into a shell. Max wore it briefly before going nudist again. Then what does he do? He climbed right back in the damn, too-small shell he's had since last December. It seems he ate Yoda for no good reason as Y's shell just sits there, an empty and forlorn reminder of a kinship that is no longer.
Max is on his own now, folks. We are not buying him a new friend, and when he goes, that's it for our life with hermit crabs. Good lord.
My mother-in-law came over to help while I packed, god love her, so I got that taken care of, ran a few errands and dropped dinner off at the Grands (Nanny's chicken salad; caprese salad; chocolate chip cookies; bread and jam for tomorrow). They are moving into an assisted living facility in two weeks, and I will really miss seeing them. Fortunately, their new home is no farther from mine than their current one, so I can still take the boys to visit which will be lovely. Oliver makes them each a card every day that I cook for them, and I know they adore him as he does them. It's been such a lovely, special "job."
By 5p I was dragging arse, but Jack has blue belt testing coming up at Tae Kwon Do so we really needed to get a class in before leaving. MIL stayed with Oliver (what would I do without my MIL?!), and Jack and I boogied to his class. I love the studio- the instructors are so great with kids, so dedicated to teaching them this craft, and J has come to love it. He needs some coordination so this is good for him. And, while the teachers are always kind, they do ignore random verbiage which is a fabulous lesson for J. For example, in the middle of class today, I heard Jack ask, "does anyone know when my birthday was? I'll tell you! Ok? It was July 4." WHA? Why would that have possibly seemed like an opportune time to share that fact? It wasn't, and no one responded. Thank you Tae Kuk.
When these little guys, cute little pencils all of them, don their sparring gear, I can never help but laugh. There is so, so much gear, like a dozen pieces, and though it's lightweight, it looks heavy. They all end up looking like bobbleheads in boot camp. Jack had his purple belt stuck in his jock cup at one point. Hilarious.
Home, shower, bed, more jam. I've just made a wonderful new one: black velvet apricot + pluots + Cognac (friend and fellow canner, Bevi, had the idea of adding Cognac!) + a bit of black pepper. Deeelishuss.
I'm off to make some dinner and then hit the sack in anticipation of my 3:45am wake-up call. To Louisiana we go, and next Tuesday, I return without my little ones! They are staying with my parents for their annual Big Boy Week which is always awesome for everyone involved. I'll be back with you tomorrow.