We enjoyed a belated holiday celebration last night with our former neighbors.
Now that we don’t see them over the fence or at the front door each day, it’s a great treat to spend time with them, see how big the kids are getting, hear the crazy things they say, see the youngest one (conceived following a few too many margaritas on our patio) finally walking.
In addition to the delicious dinner and fun adult company, we were treated to some gifts from the kids. You might remember that these four tykes consider us extended family (and we likewise). They are especially attached to Catherine and Mr. Basil. So much so that on Basil’s birthday last month, they made such a scene when they ran into him at a local restaurant that the barkeep accused him of having more kids than he’d mentioned in the past.
So much so that James wants to spend a Saturday working in the yard with Mr. Basil. “You can drop me off. And I’ll have lunch,” he told his Mom.
So much so that Isabelle wants a sleepover in Catherine’s room, with its new Christmas-delivered zebra-print comforter and chair.
So much so that Mr. Basil and Catherine had to get little Lily ready for bed last night– Mom or Dad wouldn’t do.
So, about the gifts: Isabelle played “Jingle Bells” and some other tunes for us on the violin she began to play this school year. She sang for us, too.
And James treated us to some of his stunning guitar work. The kid is a prodigy. Only 6 years old and music simply flows through him.
He was shy about sharing some of his original work with us (yes, he has created amazing songs). We encouraged him to try and he finally rocked out. Baby Cameron used the opportunity to help herself to Lily’s dessert, helpfully returning the empty pastry paper to Lily’s plate in exchange for the miniature piece of carrot cake she then devoured.
About that time Jaclyn remembered that tucked high in our garage eaves is a case containing Basil’s guitar, untouched for all these years. She urged Basil to try his hand at James’ guitar.
It took some doing (the tequila may have helped) to finally convince him. James was the final straw: “Just try, Mr. Basil.”
And so he did, managing to pull a few chords out of distant memory and offering some good notes on which to end the year.