We had five good hours after too many to count of the other kind. The day started with the grumpies and turned into the yelling and the kicking before the sun was even up. It was all scowls and meltdowns from there.
Bug was not the only one having them, I am ashamed to admit. We tried to save the day every which way, even letting Giovanni whisk us off to Manassas Battlefield so we could clamber over cannons and caissons in the unseasonably warm November light. Even so, the afternoon was all tears and grumbles and the push-pull of some unscratchable itch.
Then the child care fell through. Along with it, the evening plans.
At 7:00pm, generous friends found extra chairs and squeezed in two more place settings to make room for us as the table. Other children wrestled and played with Bug. My son turned sweet just minutes after we arrived. He stayed that way, more or less, until a little past midnight. He didn’t even turn back into a pumpkin. He simply fell asleep in my arms.
Without advance warning, friends shared their pasta and their hugs. They gave us five hours of noise and light, which was, in its way, five hours of peace.
What a gift.