The Things I Heard This Week Edition:
1. "Happy Birthday" sung to a favorite niece on her 17th birthday. Or it might have been the sound of old age creeping up on me. This was my first niece, born after I was married but before I had any kids myself. I remember holding her as a baby and being so amazed at this whole, new, amazing, little person! And now she is this whole, new, amazing, BIG person who will now be allowed to drive a car. It makes me look at the Zoomlians with new eyes...
2. Sweet stories from the past. The Emperor's family has a long tradition of using Memorial Day as, well, Memorial Day: a day to remember those gone before. We start the day picking flowers, a bouquet for each grave we will visit, and the stories start coming.
These flowers are for Aunt Toni. I remember the first family meal when I met her. I offered to help with the dishes and she instantly decided that I could do no wrong - a belief she held the rest of her life!
These roses are for Grandpa Bob. He actually planted this rose bush and he was always so proud of them. He would have loved your butterfly garden, let's get some flowers from there.
Then we visit the graves, lay the flowers, pray, give the grass the trim of loving perfection (the cousins bring scissors) and remember together. Then it's back to our house for a cook out and more stories, past and present.
3. My favorite story from Cousin C. Mockingbirds really can imitate very well. Unfortunately, one became enchanted with the sound of C's alarm clock. It gave a perfect rendition of the alarm's buzzer. Right outside his window. Earlier and earlier every morning. When I asked how he had gotten it to stop, he confessed that after weeks of trying to dissuade the bird, he had given up and moved his bedroom. Lends new meaning to "To Kill a Mockingbird."
4. "You know I love you baby, but I just can't smile." This is a game which we like whenever someone is feeling sulky or grumpy. It's simple. You take turns looking someone in the eye and try to say ,"You know I love you baby, but I just can't smile." Without smiling. It's much tougher than it sounds and we always end up in giggles!
5. I love it that Choclo spontaneously thanks God for anything that delights him. The other day we went to a friend's horse farm. Choclo got to ride a lovely little pony the color of a fresh penny. Choclo: What a beautiful horsey! Thank you God for the beautiful horsey!
6. We are getting our first ever new couch. In preparation, we are trying to enforce the "No Jumping on Furniture" rule a bit more stringently.
Me: Were you jumping on the furniture?
Zorg: We were jumping onto the furniture.
7. The Zoomlians demonstrating what Darth Vader sounds like speaking in Pig Latin. "Ooklay, (breath) Iay...amay (breath) oryay (breath) aaatherfay!" (What can you say to that? "Ooooohnay!")
More with Jen!