We went out to the opening reception for my sister’s art show last night and had a big time. We had the chance to hang out with all the cool people – Shannon and Stacey, Christa, Toby, Heather plus one, the infamous Mary Cashiola and the inquisitive Michael Erskine. All good people, all fun to be around. We were able to do this because we farmed most of our children out to their grandparents and to Stacey, who was at the show, but whose husband graciously agreed to watch JP along with Satchel and Jiro. So we had only GK with us, her first foray into the patchwork quilt of the Memphis art world. One kid? Are you kidding me? Having only one kid is like having no kids, especially when that one kid is five-months-old and can’t demand a cookie or to go someplace private to pee or wonder aloud When can we go? When can we go? When can we go? This is that blessed time when she has to do what we say because she doesn’t know any better, or what we’re even saying.
It was somewhat like being a first-time parent again, with people congratulating me and oohing and aahing and even looking at us like we don’t know what’s in store once this little bundle of joy discovers free will. They had no idea that there were three others out there, lurking, waiting to pounce with demands and questions and sticky fingers as soon as our over-burdened, hunched backs were turned. That in our home, under our sofa, there is a whole world that is as-yet undiscovered, where The Others live – the other shoe, the other Stegosaurus, the other cookie I was going to eat last week. Or even that we had been up since six that morning, preparing waffles and lunches and backpacks. But it was nice, too, to just show off one of what we’ve made. Like any good collector, the impressiveness is in the collection itself, the group that you’ve amassed which tells people you’ve got what it takes and that you lack the willpower to say no. But it’s also good, every once in a while, to single out one piece and say to the person next to you, “Look what I have. It’s one of a set, but no less spectacular by itself. Gaze upon it, make a face at it and smell it, does it smell like it pooped to you?”
Dinner at Los Compadres after the show was fun as well, though eventually cut short by the irascible GK. We did manage, though, to eat and to converse like adults with our friends, and after a couple of beers we even stopped worrying about wiping off the pacifier that had fallen to the floor for the 48th time before sticking it back into her mouth.
These are the things you do to be normal again, to be an adult with more to say than Eat your dinner! Pick that up! Let go of your sister’s foot! Every so often we need to get out and spend time with our friends. Sometimes you can’t shake all the kids and, sometimes, there’s nothing at all wrong with that.