I open the door in my pink fuzzy bathrobe, pulling it tight around me in preparation of the cold air. The girl runs up behind me, too excited about seeing her friend to wait much longer. I open the door and we exchange greetings. A child enters and mother leaves. The play date begins.
I wander around in my bathrobe until the husband arrives home from getting groceries with the boy. Now there are three kids running through the house. I am happy to sneak upstairs and take my time getting dressed.
The day passes in chunks of time. Playing. Eating. Watching a video. Playing. Braving the cold. Eating. Saying goodbye. Hours and hours that pass like minutes.
Each activity is fully embraced. The playing is enthusiastic. The movie is considered hilarious. The homemade sushi for snack time is devoured. Everything is loved. Except for the goodbyes.
The mother and I sit in the kitchen at the square brown table. We can't see the kids from here but we can hear them. The sounds are happy, so we stay where we are. I have to laugh. How can the sounds not be happy when three kids wearing swim suits are jumping off the couch into a swimming pool outlined with with masking tape on the hardwood floor.
I make tea. We talk. The kids come running to us whenever they want snacks. The boy eats his piece of homemade cake brought by our guests. After I wipe off the smear of whipping cream on his left cheek he hurries back to his sister and her friend.
We are late but they are still glad to see us. Everyone is glad to be there, except for the boy who cries on and off about being tired. Maybe you should sleep later then 4:30am I tell him. He ignores me.
We wander the museum, stopping when something interests us. The kids play and the mom and I have the broken conversation that comes with supervising four little kids in a public place. Enough is said though. Enough to understand.
The kids are older and taller then when I last saw them. That is the funny thing about time. It makes my kids older and taller too.
Here's to friends in 2011. The girl's. The boy's. Mine.