1. Two days before they come: ride herd on your husband and make him help you clean the house spotless. Except for your bedroom because, Lord, I just don’t have that kind of time. Vow to keep the bedroom door closed.
2. One day before: go to the grocery. Forget to buy at least three crucial ingredients.
3. The day of: come home from work later than you expect. Curse about the forgotten items. Send husband to store since he was sitting on his butt watching Cops anyway. Cook. Follow husband and son around picking up, cleaning up, closing doors behind them. Collapse on the bed. Take a shower. Hope they do not show up before you can get dried and dressed. Wait for them to arrive. As they arrive, realize that your husband has NOT moved the extra computer monitor from the entry way as you asked him to do eight hundred zillion times. Pick it up, run to the bedroom, open the door and resist the carnal urge to heave it through the opening. For God’s sake, remember to shut the bedroom door. Smile at your guests and tried to hide your crazy.
Ismael’s friends Soulayemane and Zelica are moving from Iowa to Tennessee and happily we are on the way. Last time I saw them, Zelica took me on a shopping odyssey at a flea market in New Jersey. They arrived with their four children and Zelica’s mother in tow.
I was delighted to see them. Adam was delighted to meet them. Ismael, well it’s hard to tell, but I’m sure he was too.
Ismael’s family and friends have always been extremely welcoming and accepting of me. As they entered last night, there were hugs, exclamations about how long its been since we saw each other, gifts that they brought for Adam and me, and reintroductions of me to their kids who now call me Auntie and Adam their cousin. Ismael is not related to them by blood, but this is how it is in Africa. Familial relationships are defined by love as much as by blood.
Adam was especially intrigued by the baby, Zenia, who at five months is a little bitty precious peanut….that is until she had a poop explosion, the likes of which I have never seen. That definitely dampened her good humor and as she howled, Zelica chastised her laughingly, “You are ashamed at this mess! That is why you are throwing a fit.”
Adam climbed onto Soulayemane’s lap, gave him hugs, and then tackled the three boys with gusto. We were teased about having more children, because Adam is “lonely.” Zelica begged me to send Adam to her this summer for a month so that we could have a break. Or for me to come visit for a month. You do not visit Africans for days…it’s measured in months. When I laughed at her and said, “but you have four kids! Why do you want mine?” She dismissed it jokingly and said, “once you have more than two, more don’t make any difference.”
I am so happy that we had the opportunity to visit last night and hope that we can all be together again soon.
Soulayeman with two of his own boys and Adam.
Adam playing “basketball” with his new cousins.