Friday, September 12, 2008
So we had planned to have "the cousins" over for MOVIE night, tonight - I mean Parent Trap (the original) was on pay preview - and the girls and I got icecream and miniature M&Ms in preparation. Ofcourse, I'd never actually received confirmation from the cousins - just assumed their availabitity - forgetting their scheduled trip early the next morning. My sister in-law broke it to me gently -"I think I'm going to keep the kids here tonight so they're rested for the drive - will Isabelle be too disappointed?" "No, not at all," I lied. Just that morning Isabelle suggested we set various stuffed animals and baby dolls around the table so that we could at least, "pretend" we had a big family. I thought another comment like that might dampen my festive "family night" mood.
As I prepared myself to share the news with Isabelle, I decided to cushion the blow. "But," I said bluffing like a Vegas pro, "Daddy and I have planned an adventure!" It was Friday night and we needed some break in the routine - I mean, we are all four here ALL of the time...
So I went to Bobby's office (in the the basement) and frantically shared the new plan. "Take us on a family adventure," I pleaded/demanded. Long pause. "What exactly do you have in mind?" he questioned (married to me long enough to know to just ask out right).
The thing is, I didn't really know what I was hoping for. A walk down the street for Thai food? A stroll through a used book store? Maybe a trip to Giardelli's for hot cocoa. While viable options in the city (on the weekends, baby Isabelle would start asking for "crab rangoon,") none of these seemed right or even possible out here in NW Indiana.
So, after some internet research, we ended up at Innman's Fun and Party Center. Northwest Indiana at its finest! However, it turned out to be the perfect diversion. After getting through the initial crisis of not having socks (we didn't immediately realize that "fun" meant bowling) we bought new socks and picked out our bowling balls. There was a time I thought that Isabelle would never get over the excitement and stimulation of the city. Turns out that I was wrong - and needed look no further than the local bowling alley. She tied Bobby and badly beat Jane and I. We (and all the other patrons) laughed hard as Bobby slipped on the lane's wax and fell flat on his, "bobum.
On our way home, the girls sang songs together. "Mom," said Isabelle who only sings when she's peaceful, "Tell me another song to sing." "You are my sunshine?" I offered. "Mmm no...not one of those cutsie ones...oh! I know," and then she begins to sing, "The wheels on the bus..."
Within seconds, Isabelle is Joined by Bobby's deep, articulate voice and Janes's tiny one. I listen and feel full and content. My little family is so big, I think to myself; and for the first time, it feels complete.