Dalton and Jack (on the left)
Hanna and Shelby (after I'd done their make up and they posed as "rocker girls"...the one and only time either of them have ever wanted to wear make up.)
When my daughter's best friend knocks at the door, they don't even say hi to one another. Shelby opens the door, sees that it's Hanna and they turn and run off to go resume whatever imaginary play had been cut short the last time they were together.
Same thing with Dalton's best friend Jack. They pick up their lacrosse sticks, or xbox remotes, or LEGO's and play is as effortless as breathing.
It's to the point now where these friends have become like family. They know our house and are as welcome here as they are in their own. I love that. I love that my kids are welcome in these other houses where I know and love the parents. I remember that. As a kid, your whole world is your house. So to go in to the realm of someone else's life and see what their day to day is like, is such a fun thing. At your own house, that's the norm. In our home we wake up at 7 AM on the weekends, no matter what, because that's when Garrett wakes up. We groggily park ourselves in front of the TV where cartoons are turned on. Garrett's trucks come out of their bins and get dumped all over the floor. Bacon from Costco is nuked for twenty seconds and the plates are put on Diego and cat place mats. Kids are called over from the couch where Garrett inhales his bacon and Shelby begins to dissect hers.
Everyone has bed head. Shelby may have her pink robe on. Or a pair of boxers and a tshirt. Garrett most likely has a pee pee diaper that is hanging just above his knees. We turn the TV so the kids can continue to watch the cartoons while they eat. I make a shake. Two bananas, frozen berries, Brown Cow vanilla yogurt, oj, and a little agave nectar. The kids love it. They tell me how it compares to others in the past. Usually it's "the best shake yet" which I love.
They eat their shake and bacon while I pour either Cracklin Oat Bran, Cinnamon Life, or Raisin Bran Crunch for them. They eat in little plastic bowls with our smaller spoons. I use milk that comes from a red carton that is organic...can't remember the name. It is all very familiar. Gavin usually comes up from his office or the bedroom about this time and nukes a bunch of ham slices. They are the pre-sliced pieces from Costco. For whatever reason, he likes it to resemble road kill, so he cooks them until they are charred almost to the point where they are inedible. He will set a couple extra slices down on the table, which Shelby our carnivore usually will eat.
Then Gavin joins us at the table with his wheat cracker with cheese on top and ham on the side. It's always the same. On a Saturday he'll cook some scrambled eggs to go with it and sometimes the kids will eat those. If he is feeling really nice he'll make waffles, which I don't love because they weigh as much as bricks, but the kids like them because it's an excuse to have a bunch of maple syrup.
We can usually see one of our three cats on the window outside the dining area, if they've slept outside. There are 32 window panes, and the cat will try to get our attention through one of them. Meow to tell us he wants to come in and eat. The neighbor's house is only 24 feet away, so we see her red bricks, and her navy blue trim. We see her closed windows that are rarely have the blinds drawn. We see the leaves that have fallen from her three massive elms that line our houses. We see what the weather is like, who is out walking their dogs. The kids finish their breakfast as the cartoon that they are watching is wrapping up.
Then it's back to the couch if it's a Saturday, or off to get dressed if it's a school day. But at someone else's house, it's totally different. And to a kid, that is SO weird. Shelby asks me to make egg burritos like she has at Hanna's house, when she spends the night. I have tried, but apparently I do not make them right, because they "just aren't as good as theirs," and I need to ask them how they make theirs.
Dalton tells me that Pete and Julie, Jack's parents, read the paper on Saturday or Sunday mornings. He loves that. He loves that it is scattered all over the floor. That they are having conversations about the articles. That Jack and his brother read the funnies. We don't do that. We subscribe to the SL Tribune and the New York Times online. Gavin reads articles during the day between work calls, and I read them while I am surfing the internet. I like that my hands are not covered in ink. Gavin will forward me stories that he thinks are interesting. But it's true, it leaves the kids completely out of that loop.
At Jack's house they eat like kings. Jack's dad hunts, but he doesn't just hunt- he cooks what he hunts. And what he serves up could be served on plates at La Callie. Duck in raspberry sauce, and bacon wrapped quail are among some of the delicacies. Jack sleeps over at our house and we are having pizza or steaks on the grill. Dalton feels like he's hit the jackpot when he gets to eat over there.
Shelby's best friend has a dog. Dalton's best friend has two. We have three cats. Neither of their friends have baby brothers or sisters. Hanna has a little sister, but she's five. So they come to our house and it's always "Shhhh, Garrett's napping. You have to play out side or down stairs." I say it like that...enunciate the OUT and the DOWN. Or, "Shhhh, if you guys are going to play Halo or sword fighting, it has to be quiet. Garrett is asleep." Not so fun. However, Hanna doesn't have the gluttony of toys that our house has, so she is willing to put up with quieter play. She also doesn't have a cool older brother and his friends, so there are some serious perks to playing at Shelby's house.
I wonder how long they'll be friends with these best buds. Sometimes I see the four of them intermarrying and them all hanging out together for the rest of their lives. It could be Hanna and Dalton with Jack and Shelby or Hanna and Shelby with Dalton and Jack. Either way, they'd be set. It does make life fun to have a best friend, and see what another's world is like. I'm happy for them.