Elizabeth and Amster are in love. It's really quite wonderful to watch.
Amster went from a perfect-for-the-3-of-them house with two young gentlemen enjoying peeing duels into the toilet bowl to a fancy house with a pool and a boyfriend and 2 very feminine young ladies. It's been an adjustment for all of them.
Once the bedrooms and custody and bus schedules were figured out they settled into a school routine involving a rotating cast of people who love the children. Today was my turn to share the love with 2 of the 3 littles, my favorite boys on the planet. Da Rock Shop was obviously our destination. We spent a blissful hour fondling and choosing and changing our minds. We read signs and did the math required to spend only the $5 each I was giving them for being my favorite boys on the planet. We contemplated the unfairness of a universe with so many choices and so little funds. We debated the wisdom of spending allowance money on a trilobite or saving it for the weekend, to fund adventures at Dad's house. We began to run a tab when the long-suffering young man behind the counter started his third paper receipt; we left with our treasures securely bagged and bubble wrapped.
They fastened their own seat belts and we were back at the fancy house in no time. Snacks? "No, thank you." Someplace else? "No, home would be good." This blended family is obviously working for them.
I bought a pink quartz heart for the littlest little, since we all agreed that anything pink would be perfect.for her. Mr. 8 wondered about the ungifted Elizabeth. He was vaguely unsatisfied with my answer. I took her to Starbucks where she got her favorite double chocolate something or other yesterday and lunch and pilates last weekend and she's a big girl and knows I love her just didn't pass muster. He has the most serious face when he's thinking and planning and plotting; when we got into the car he informed me that the last item he'd purchased, with his own money, the change from his wallet, was for Elizabeth. He didn't want her to be the only one without something.
This is turning into a family, isn't it?
We got home to an exhausted firefighter in a recliner, opened a bag of cheddar cheese and sour cream chips that Safeway (yes, that Safeway) presented to me at no charge after I bought 4 Coca-Cola products yesterday, and watched Mr. 8 do his math homework in a race against his mother, who was on her way home. He beat her. It took me right back to my own kitchen with my own 8 year old who was wearing the exact same look of supreme satisfaction and I saw on the little boy in front of me. I missed the one and hugged the other so fiercely this afternoon that I got a "Leave me alone" and I did as he reached behind me for his DS, his reward for finishing his homework. He'd complied with the List of Rules posted on the refrigerator. We were all proud of him. There had been no arguing. There was compliance. It was peaceful and lovely and calm. We all enjoyed it.
If ever I needed an exemplar of my main parenting mantra, this was it. Kids Like Rules.
Elizabeth came in the front door as Amster came in the back. The exhausted guy kept on sleeping and the kids began talking at her while Elizabeth grabbed her in a hug that wouldn't let go. Amster, balancing mail and legal pads and a purse, hugged her right back. She didn't let go, either.
I told you, they are in love.
So, what should they call one another? I'm Elizabeth's faux grandmother, and her actual grandmother doesn't mind at all. Amster and the firefighter have boy/girlfriend for one another, tho as adults it rattles around in the mouth just a little. The kids are at a loss. Spare Daughter was suggested and rejected. Quickly rejected. My boy/girlfriend's daughter/son takes too long and implies a distance that just doesn't exist between them. Biology isn't necessary for parenthood to exist, but the names take on a significance in this situation.
That's it. We can't go any further. We have no more thoughts on the matter. Do you?