my sister has been in town this week with her kids, which makes nine cousins at my parent’s house when you add four chinos and peter and whitney’s two. we have crammed a lot into nine days with nine kids. and i am tired. but i love the whole family all together. i love to watch all the different pairings of cousins and jockeying for power. at some point someone said of the kids, “it’s a little bit like lord of the flies in there.” and they really can fight. there’s not really a weak-willed one in the bunch. but they soooooo adore each other. and it all ends in the morning when our chicago contingent flies back to the big city.
by tonight, all the adults were exhausted. all our houses are messy. there are swimsuits and towels hanging everywhere. so many beautiful meals around my parents’ huge table have weathered the tired navy tablecloth. i was praying with mary polly as she was going to sleep, again at my parents’ (while there are girls in town from chicago, she sticks with them, every minute) and she said, “i know this sounds crazy, but it feels like they haven’t been here for very long at all!” and even though i can hardly hold my fingers to the keyboard for how tired i am, and i need a few days of calm in the very near future, i know how she feels. it seems like as soon as we plan a visit with our cousins, it has come and gone before we know it.