My DSIL, soon to be my CSIL (Canadian sister-in-law) is here with her husband and kids for a couple of weeks while their worldly goods and van are loaded on a very large truck and transported to a cold city far, far away. We are sad that they will not be in driving distance anymore, but are consoled by the good long visit, which Barak has been excited about for weeks.
I first told him that they were coming about a month ago. I made the mistake of saying that Tanta Sara was coming. He seemed pleased, but dissatisfied. "I don't wanna just Tanta Sara. I want everybody to come." Ever since, when mentioning their visit, he has specified, by name, every member of the family, lest Imma leave someone off the invitation list (we wouldn't want the baby left behind in Ohio, would we?!) On Sunday, we hauled mattresses out of the storage space, put everything else down there that we possibly could, rearranged furniture, and made sleeping space for six in the boys' room (one twin mattress, one crib, two toddler mattresses and two pack and plays.) The excitement built.
"Everybody's gonna sleep in here?" "Yep, everybody's sleeping in here. Is it gonna be a big party?" "Yeah!"
Tuesday morning. "I want everybody to come!" "Everybody is coming. They're coming tonight, okay?" "Okay." For whatever reason, Tuesday afternoon Barak was tired and took a long and unaccustomed nap on my bed. Tuesday evening, we went for French fries. Tuesday night, Iyyar went to sleep and Barak, unsurprisingly, did not.
"I'm not gonna go night-night. I'm just gonna wait for everybody."
"Barak, they won't be here until midnight. You can't wait up for them. But you don't have to go to bed yet. You can come sit on my bed and read while I fold laundry." Barak went and got his sefer (The First Thousand Words in Hebrew) and read while I folded, commenting periodically on the impending visit. "Iss gonna be a big party, right?"
At 8:30, and hour and a half past his usual bedtime, he was showing no signs of tiredness, but I thought bedtime was in order anyway. "Okay, Barak, you can sleep on Abba's bed if you want, and you can have your book, and I'll leave the hall light on. When everybody gets here I'll come get you and you can go in your room with all the kinderlach, okay?" "Okay."
I went off to my computer to work. Iyyar was quiet. Barak was quiet. I finished a speech. At 10:30, I went past my bedroom door.
"Hi, Imma! I'm waiting for everybody!" Indeed he was. He was sitting bolt upright on my bed, in the dark, in his undershirt and pull-up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. He had, by every indication, been sitting like that for the last two hours, just... waiting. Hmm. They were supposed to arrive within the hour...
"Barak, do you want to come lie down with Imma in the back bedroom? You can listen to Uncle Moishy while I work." This suggestion was received with great enthusiasm, and he got comfy on Tanta Sara's bed with his own blanket, his own pillow, and Uncle Moishy on Abba's discman. I did some more work. At quarter to 11, Abba got home. He pulled out the laptop and sat there working in the half-dark as Barak listened to his music, positively vibrating with excitement.
And then I saw headlights pull into the driveway. I picked Barak up (he obviously wasn't wearing shoes) and we went out into the yard to greet Everybody. Four children giggling wildly, one baby who had been quite happy sleeping in the carseat, thank you. The kids went inside, Uncle Yaakov and Abba started unloading the van (which was like one of those sketches where forty people pour out of a Model T--how did they get six people, even mostly small ones, and All That Stuff in one eight-seater minivan?) and the pajama hunt began. Well, the pajama hunt began for the grownups. The kids, they had found toys. Loud toys. And were happily playing in the living room. By the time they were in bed, it was after midnight; by the time the stuff was put away and the adults were in bed, it was well after one.
What time did the first baby wake up? Umm, about five, I think. Yesterday, needless to say, everyone was a wreck, but today they seem pretty much recovered.
And on Sunday, the long-awaited event is finally scheduled to occur: Barak's tzitzis party. Stay tuned.