They all aren't in beds. One may or may not be asleep on that coffee table.
Parents night out. They'll be back soon. Exhausted or tipsy, they'll rub my head and probably thank me for making sure their kids didn't follow through with their plans to make a zip-line that stretches from this 4th story deck to the woods below. You're quite welcome, intoxicated relatives. It was a good time.
Meet the littles.
Helena may be three, but she has better hygiene than I. She clips her bangs to the side and has a tube of lip gloss in her pocket. Also, she knows all the words to lips of an angel. Isabelle, competitive and paranoid, is an emotional wreck. 3 years old and hair in her eyes. Chloe doesn't say a lot. She's a little more than six years old with an incredible sense of fashion and the freaking cutest pair of bird legs.
Meet the middles.
Moe and Ella are always together. I don't think they've agreed on a single thing since the beginning, but they love having the other around. Lukey is beautiful. I may or may not have a crush on my 8 year old cousin. Dyl makes fun of everything always. The middles adore Austin. He enjoys having an audience. Yez is classic. Long blonde hair and always taking care of the littles. She spent a chunk of last night showing me how to use an ipod touch. Trent is always barefoot and doing flips off of things. Elise is different from the rest. She's always in the background watching. Always watching. Dear Elise, what does the world look like to you?
Trev, Dev and Cayla. Things haven't changed. Puberty came and went away. They're 15 now and just as ridiculous as they've always been. They're never are apart. They're always doubled over laughing at something that doesn't translate well when they try to tell someone what's so funny.
Dani. It's so good to see Dani. She's asleep on the couch with some of the middles. She's the same as she was. Still sings show tunes when she's antsy, still laughs about life better than anyone I know. I don't know if we have anything in common. But it's always been that way. promqueenstudentbodypresidentsoccerteamcaptainfullridescholarshiptopfivepercentofgraduatingclass, hi. I love you.
I wish Sep was here.
I was up till 4 last night.
Charles. British accent, black rimmed glasses, box of reds, and a little bit drunk. He kissed me on the cheek and told me it was a pleasure to see me again. Uncle Dave, Charles and I in the kitchen. Plastic cups of wine and scattered conversation.
He's the father of my aunt's sister's kid and his father is the second wealthiest man in the UK.
He asked me questions about life. Told me to be grateful for the head on my shoulders. Told me to be grateful for this glorious family tree.
He told me about sitting in the first row of David Bowie's last concert. He felt so light, he thought his skin floated away.
We talked in circles. I was completely wrapped around Charles' slurred words. He's lived a lot of life running away from life.
Yesterday we biked to the lake. 7 miles and lots of granola bars.
Hi Mr bike rental man. We need 29 bikes. Yeah. 29.
River rafting today. We might have paddled into a tree. And that big rock. And maybe that bridge too.
Paddle, Rani, paddle! Rani! You're fired. Give your paddle to Yez.
People raise there glasses a lot around here.
If I made a toast it'd sound like this.
Here's to life. Here's to feeling a little bit in-between.
Here's to the way that sun feels on skin and that car ride through the mountains above the lake. Here's to those humans that have been in love for half of a century and the way they look at each other across the table. Here's to no cell reception, you dedicated business men and text happy fifteen year olds. Here's to taking up space. Here's to those conversations that leave new thoughts. Here's this strange family tree. Here's to that kid who thinks about time.