I took a trip on a pirate ship last night.
No, it wasn't a bad dream - more like a dream come true. Wait, let me back up and explain.
If you're a regular here, you know that my life moves pretty fast. This past week it seemed to hit warp speed and started moving faster than ever, even by my estimation.
We're now 17 days out from the wedding! Yes. Yes, that IS less than three weeks. Thanks for calculating it with me.
We've enjoyed two lovely showers and the biggest is coming this Saturday at church. We've moved to the "Must be completed!" section of the planning booklet. We're experiencing the "Okay, if we haven't gotten this by tomorrow, we'll just go in a different direction" phase. It's crunch time, baby!
I think we heard the gears shifting after we attended two other weddings this past Friday and Saturday. (Oh, and did I mention that we threw a yard sale in there Saturday morning just because it HAD to happen before the wedding and that was the only window available? My husband is a saint!)
Yep, warp speed!
A frequent question these days is, "How ya doin'?" This is asked as we screech to a halt and stare intently at the person we're questioning. We listen closely. They speak in short sentences.
Then we squeeze a hand. Pat a shoulder. Offer a hug and dash on.
Last night, it was Abby who looked deeply into Noni's eyes and in her own way asked "How ya doin'?" To the casual observer it sounded more like, "Noni, you wanna do da puzchel?"
But I knew what she meant.
John and Joy offered to share left overs for an easy family dinner last night. Everyone jumped on it. Even left overs at their house is a great meal. (We brought the ham and field peas a dear church member had prepared for her frazzled pastors. It immediately became a Feast!)
Frank and I finally arrived and I flopped wearily on the living room couch. After smiling at Spencer, Abby and Poppa working a huge puzzle in the floor, I leaned my head back and closed my eyes.
It only took a few minutes for Abby to notice that I wasn't engaged. She came and leaned on the arm of the couch, just staring at me. I kept my eyes partially closed and tried not to smile as her big blue eyes searched my face.
A pudgy little hand stroked mine and that's when the raspy whisper came. "Noni. Noni!" I opened my eyes a bit more.
The wise two year old flashed her trademark smile and bobbed her head while looking directly at me. "You wanna do da puzchel?"
Which being interpreted means, "It's gonna be okay, Noni. You always smile when you play with us. Come play. It'll make you feel better, I know!" And she was right.
We played. We ate. We laughed as Noah made clear that his parents weren't feeding him fast enough.
Abby generously offered to taste the "chi-chen" on my plate. She made sure I had ham "jush yike me!" Spencer leaned in, put his hand to his mouth and whispered his invitation to go sailing after dinner.
The sparkle in his beautiful eyes and the dimpled cheeks were irresistible.
So as soon as we cleaned up the kitchen, Noni moved to the play room. I did an unattractive, commando-style crawl into the only "Noni-sized" space under their pirate ship. Somehow, both babies squeezed their bodies in around mine. We huddled and whispered and giggled.
When Noah joined us, he directed things with the one word I've heard him say, "Chehtsch!" It's a command, really. And he's typically holding a ball or some other pint-sized flinging object when he barks it out. (His first birthday is FRIDAY! I know, unbelievable isn't it?!)
"Chehtsch!" He's so intent that you just know if he could only figure out how to balance on one foot, he would be stomping the other. Heaven help you if you aren't watching when he launches said object.
For the next little while, Captain Spencer steered our ship through two storms. We searched for "buried trejure." First-mate Abby, brought imaginary dinner. Somehow Noni got hit in the nose with a make-shift sword. And Noah flung various "supplies" toward the ship to assist us on our journey.
By the time I finally began to uncurl my aching limbs and inch my way out of the too-tiny spot I'd taken over, we'd made a great memory. A great memory for Noni, at least.
And as I bid farewell to the ship's crew (collecting kisses and hugs from each one) Spencer called out, "Noni. Say, say, say 'Good-bye, Captain!'"
My heart swelled, "Good-bye, Captain!" I gave a little salute. "Thanks for a great voyage!"
The captain and first-mate looked at each other - both very pleased with themselves for pretending so well.
And Noni went home knowing she had just enjoyed a dream come true evening.
Even if you live a frenzied life, be sure to "chehtsch" the important moments! Those are the real treasure chests hidden away for our life-time bank accounts.