Visiting friends with young children

It's actually the most decadent kind of escapism, that sort that picks us up from our everyday lives and puts us down in a suburban home somewhere in the vicinity of Atlanta. I've had to come here to take care of some personal things and the up-side of the details that aren't remotely pleasant is being in the home of a friend I've known for nearly ever. Cindi and her family are hosting me and for these days I've just kind of moved in and made myself ever so much at home.

They have a routine that would literally make your head spin. If you glanced at the calendar on the kitchen wall you'd be sure it was a family of 42 but it's quite standard, this mom plus dad plus boy plus girl, little cat, familiar old dog, and all kinds of friends who call and stop by. I have no doubt that this time the revolving door that brings and sends all sorts of guests are actually mild compared to some days.

And while something akin to a lovingly managed chaos whirls around me, I let myself get lost here and move through my own odd routine, interacting and not interacting, invisible and visible. I couldn't be in a more perfect location to handle things. It gives me permission to come and go while being surrounded by a feeling that all is very definitely normal.

Brings out good things in me as well. I feel comforted to walk around the house tonight, doing something atypical for me these days. A lover of candles, as is Cindi, my home is filled with them. But unless it's a cozy winter evening, I rarely take the time to light them. They're lit here, often, and as Dad hangs out with little boy who has fallen asleep and little girl calls from the party where she's not quite ready to spend the night after all, I know Mommy is coming home from her PTA chairperson meeting (or something like that) in a bit, and she will be pleased at the little touch. I wonder if I went overboard by lighting every wick I could find downstairs? It won't matter if I did. She'll just blow them out and that'll be that. Until then, I sit in the rare silence on an exceedingly huggy sofa and enjoy the flicker from across the room, the lull of the upstairs dryer that runs almost continuously, and feel pleasantly removed from my troubles that brought me down here.