Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

That Guy

We have a big household right now.  Our five live downstairs in three bedrooms: Adam & Alex share, Kirk & I share (duh), and Dylan gets his own room.  The three upstairs bedrooms are currently occupied by the Davis family: Skye & Michelle are in the master, and Tyler and Ryder each get their own room.  It's full.  It's a bit crowded (I'm sharing one bathroom with all 4 of my boys).  But it is a ridiculously happy place to live.

Imagine coming home each day and being greeted not only by your own sweet redheaded son but by Princess Tyler, who alternately toddles over or offers you her recently perfected pageant wave.  Some days, I am lucky enough to come home and see one of my older boys holding Ryder on the couch.  But probably my favorite days are the ones when I peek through the blinds of the back door to see my three jumping on the trampoline with Tyler, four giddy faces enjoying a pleasant afternoon.  I still can't believe that Tyler - not yet 1 year old - can hold her own on the trampoline with her crazy cousins, but she loves it.  I can't quite tell whether she prefers to jump herself or to sit atop her perch on Adam's shoulders and let him do all the work.  She seems pretty smiley in either case!

I don't know if Skye and Michelle agree, but Kirk and I talk frequently of how blessed we are to get to share this time with Skye and Michelle.  We get all sorts of geeky happy about the benefits.  It's not often that you know how great and how rare something is when you're right in the middle of it.  But as 8 of the 9 of us sat down to watch Iron Man 3 recently, I couldn't help but feel like the luckiest woman in the world.  On my left sat my loving husband of 12 years with our adoring niece climbing him like a jungle gym.  Behind us, Adam held baby Ryder, feeding him his bottle.  Alex was cuddled in near my right shoulder.  And in the bend of the couch, Dylan had climbed onto Michelle's lap.  Kirk and I whispered happily about how much we love it when it is difficult to see where one family ends and the next begins.

Don't get me wrong - we are really excited about the new house (plans have been sent to the city and we are picking colors) and there are certainly times the house feels crowded.  But I know that when I look back on my life, these 9-ish months are going to stand out as some of the happiest.

I've really enjoyed getting to know my sister.  With six years between us, we weren't particularly close growing up.  As she grew into adulthood, she spent her time away at college, performing in Idaho, or being married to Skye, and I can't really say I even knew her very well.  It turns out Michelle is pretty fun to hang out with, and I really enjoy having her as a friend.  She makes a great Zumba buddy.  She is really good at laughing quietly with me while Dylan explains that I will need to make Halloween costumes for the ants, because they don't have arms and can't use the sewing machine.  She is willing to grocery shop with me.  And she seems to always find little ways to make my life a bit easier.

With all the benefits of our current cohabitation, it would be a bit difficult to pick a favorite thing - that is, if this one thing weren't so clearly my favorite.

Dylan gets to be a big brother.

I know Tyler and Ryder aren't really his siblings, but I'm not sure he knows that.  He gets to love them and be annoyed by them and have to share space with them and learn to be big because it's their turn to be little.  And while listening to him squeal as Tyler chases him through the house may not make the top of my list, watching him take care of Ryder does.

Dylan calls him, "That guy."

"Can I hold that guy?"

"Can I feed that guy?"

I love to watch him plop down on the couch, insisting on a pillow to help support Ryder's head.  I love to watch him sit still, focusing all his attention on holding Ryder's bottle just so.  I love that he's not jealous when my attention is on the brand new baby I sometimes get to hold; he's jealous that he isn't spending time with Ryder.

I like getting to spend time with Skye.  Sometimes we're both leaving for work at the same time, and I get to say a brief hello.  Sometimes he makes me baked penne at midnight when I'm up late working and he feels like cooking.  I like having access to Michelle's closet if I don't have the right pair of shoes to go with my outfit.  I like dragging her with me to the model home to look at colors.  I like the ease of a friendship without drama.  I know I am pretty lucky being one of the first people to see Tyler's hair in pigtails, and her purple polka dotted pajamas are a welcome addition in my BoyTrapped house.

But in Ryder we have another little brother (minus all the work).  A bit of calm in a continuous storm.  And I know our time with "That Guy" is something rare and special.

I know we're just moving across the back fence, but I'm going to miss Those Guys.