(back row) Rob, Steven & Chris
Tonya & Gary
It is funny, how when we asked for a picture the boys ALWAYS take their "places".
Meaning, in this order. Order of birth, eldest to youngest.
Does your family do that?
I only had one sister and we try NOT to be in a picture together. Ah HA.
Dad would like me to ask forgiveness for his attire...it was a long day in a suit and tie and he was pooped out and wanted comfy clothes. To his defense also we did ambush him into a picture. Mom always looks good. (So does my hubby.)
Steven the middle one, lives in Seattle. (Okay, technically he lives on Whidbey Island, Freeland Wa. A whole 30 minute ferry ride over to Seattle.It's just easier to say Seattle and people "get" where that is.)
I was thrilled he was coming to town. Even more that his wife Jennifer wasn't.
You all know Jennifer...I've talked about her here.
Nice way of putting it, we don't mix well.
I've learned two things: Steven is more social when she isn't around, and he played with my kids!!
Okay, played isn't the right word...
Nick went upstairs, they have free run over at Papa & Nana's go anywhere. I noticed Steven went up right after Nick.
Hmmmm...I listened at the steps, I couldn't hear anything so up I went, I was concerned that Nick would be into Steven's things as he was using one of the room.
As I suspected Nick was in Steven's room, laying on the bed, hands behind his head and Steven was in the chair next to him.
"Hi Mom." Nick says all casual like.
"Is he bothering you?" I asked Steven.
"No, we're watching Scooby."
I look between them. Steven has never spent more them 2 seconds with Nick. Ever.
I make my way downstairs, slowly...
I can hear them and they had a good ole conversation about cars, and monsters and sports Nick likes.
It made my heart smile.
I also caught Steven watching Nina. It's hard not to, she's so...well Nina.
(I'm not talking stalker, pedophile watching, just admiring how much she's grown up and changed from the baby he met.)
Nina is shy when meeting people, but she's also very talkative. I think he was astounded to hear her talk to everyone, because for all he could tell she was a mute.
I think he realized she was a smart little cookie.
And he always complimented her on her dresses. To which she'd smile.
* I just re-read this and is sounds really creepy...I didn't mean it to and have no other way of telling it,really. I do NOT repeat Do NOT have any worries about Steven "hurting" my children. It's one of those things where he really has never been around kiddos, so people like that have this awkwardness, they don't know what to say to a kid, like you can talk to an adult and kids are always moving around, which can be annoying. Did I put your mind at ease? Or did I just sound like I'm trying too hard to convince you? Oh just forget it. My kids weren't in danger.*
Prior to Monday (the funeral) we hadn't spent much time with Steven, we couldn't we have the kids and have schedules for eating to keep.
So Monday, afternoon, we left the children with Nana & Papa and the 5 of us went out for beers.
Okay, 4 of us went out for beers and I tagged along. It's a good thing because as my husband would say they all were "over-served".
I had the BEST time listening to stories that got wilder and weirder as the time went on. I'm talking crazy things I'd never have imagined...but, yes, now know of my in-law sibs and my own Husband. (What happened at Barley Johns WILL stay at Barley Johns.)
I also got a glimpse of how close Rob and Steven were. And kinda still are when Jenn isn't around.
Then it's totally different, like strangers almost. Weird.
(Notice the order again?)
I even chatted with Gloria about the strain between Jenn and I.
(Gloria is Jenn's mom and a dear friend of the Coxes, who we see on a regular base. She taught me her recipe for caramel corn.)
It was a relief and eye opening.
I'd been wanting to talk about it with her for SO LONG...
Someday I may get the balls to talk to Steven...maybe.
To be clear, I'm not trying to start a war or push an agenda...I simple want understanding.
For the life of me, I can't figure out what caused friction where there never should have been any.
I know what I know, but it makes no sense, and maybe it never will. And that's okay.
I am just happy that my husband, my children and I got to spend some wonderful time with Steven.
We have no idea when we'll see him again, by himself or otherwise.
But I do have THIS!
See look how happy we all are.