This weekend was the opening weekend of deer season (why oh why do I know that?), so Darren went downstate to his parents' to hunt. Elaine went with him. Though she is on constant squirrel watch around our house, she doesn't hunt. She went to spend the weekend with her MiMi and PaPa so she could get thoroughly spoiled and have a diet consisting entirely of doughnuts and chocolate milk.
That meant Lucy and I were on our own. I picked her up after school on Friday, and that night we went to her swim meet. She came in second in almost every heat, plus her relay team. I was so proud of her. On the way home, we stopped by the store to pick up cake slices of her choice (Italian cream) so we could climb in my bed and eat them while watching movies.
We watched Little Women, which I've been wanting for ages to show her, but I wanted to make sure she'd be old enough to like it. I figured since she watches Pride & Prejudice now she'd be ready, and she was. She loved it--especially the part where Jo burned Meg's hair.
I know there are several versions of the movie; we chose the 1995 one, which is my favorite. It's not a flawless version, but it's still excellent, plus they actually filmed in Concord at Orchard House. I told Lucy how I had been there, and she wanted to know all about it.
We went to Boston for vacation when she was about 18 months old. I absolutely had to go see Orchard House of course. We went on the tour of it and had a grad student as our guide. The people in our group (we didn't know them)--well, I couldn't figure out why they were there. They didn't seem to have any knowledge of Louisa May Alcott or be interested in any way. I could tell the guide was discouraged, so while we were in the living room I broke out of my shell and raised my hand and asked, "Is it OK if I throw myself down in front of the fireplace and say, 'Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents?'"
After that, he pretty much conducted the tour personally for Darren and me, and we had a blast. I got to see the props and costumes the sisters used for their plays and, even though we technically weren't allowed to touch anything, he actually let me touch Louisa's desk where she wrote. I touched it. I touched it! So cool. (I've also touched C.S. Lewis's desk AND chair and Charles Williams' bookcase, but that's another post.)
Next dor to Orchard House (which is the Laurence's house in the movie) is Nathaniel Hawthorne's house, and down the street is Ralph Waldo Emerson's. Anyway, after telling Lucy all that, she made me promise to take her there someday.
The next day, Lucy got out her paints and spent most of the morning painting in blissful solitude without any little sister to get in and mess up her stuff or re-paint over her pictures. We also went to the mall to do a little Christmas shopping and then to Camille's Sidewalk Cafe for lunch. We shared a wrap sandwich and cookies and made our own mixed drinks of lemonade, iced tea, and Sprite.
Not too long after that, it was time for the other half of our family to come home. When I went to unbuckle Elaine from her seatbelt, I could see she was encrusted with chocolate frosting (from a doughnut of course). She had had a great time with her MiMi. They went together to buy stuff for Operation Christmas Child and apparently had a good talk about being a missionary. MiMi told Elaine that maybe she could be a missionary when she grew up, and Elaine said, "No, I don't want to be a missionary. But you should talk to Lucy about it--she really loves Jesus."
Lucy and Elaine were thrilled to see each other and began to bicker right away. The last time I tuned in to them, they were arguing about whether or not the ladybug on the car window was indeed Nellie, the ladybug who resides on our bathroom sink, or an altogether different ladybug named Millie.
Then at night when I went to check on them, they were curled up together, both asleep in Lucy's bed.
All is well.