Mother’s Day came early

I know Mother’s Day isn’t for a bit, but I feel like this past weekend was for me. I got to see all of my children except son-in-law Luke, spent time with my parents and snuggled the dickens out my granddaughter Layla.

My youngest child Matt showed up at about noon on Saturday, just minutes ahead of his sister Maggie and niece Layla. It’s a good thing he was already there when she arrived, because traveling overnight with a baby requires about 3 tons of equipment in this day and age. I came out and got the baby and left the rest up to them.

I got the carseat in the house, tugged the blanket off and was greeted by a wide-mouthed drooly grin from my little angel. While the kids toted baby things, Eric and I sat on the couch and laughed at Layla as she made funny faces and talked to us. She’s a well-socialized little puppy, so she had no qualms about being tossed around by the grandparents she hadn’t seen in over a month.

After all of the baby equipment had been carried inside and piled in the living room, I handed Layla to Matt. He hadn’t held her since her baptism several months ago, so he was a little cautious. She’s almost five months old now, so she holds herself up a bit better than last time he saw her.

Within an hour or so, Matt was pretty comfortable with the baby. She was lying on her back on the floor, and he was sitting next to her chatting. He stood up and swept her up in his arms on the way, and she promptly spewed all over him. The look of horror on his face was quite funny, as was the look of angelic pleasure on hers.

He got over it quickly enough, and a few hours later was playing with her on the floor once more, tossing her around gently like he had been around infants every day of his life.

Our big old mutt Jeffrey got to renew his acquaintance with Layla. She has a wonderful dog at home, so it doesn’t faze her much when she gets a slurpy on her face.

Later that night, as we all talked and chatted, Maggie asked me what I want for Mother’s Day. Looking around the room at my mom with a baby snuggled on her lap and my father, son and husband involved in some man discussion, I couldn’t think of a single thing. What more could a person want?

Matt stayed the night, but had to leave in the morning because he had to work at noon in Sioux Falls, S.D. About 15 minutes after he left, his brother Nick showed up with girlfriend Jess.

I was sad that they missed each other, but what can you do? Work is work.

We played with the baby, talked about wedding plans for Maggie, teased each other and laughed a lot. My folks came over again (it is hard to keep my mom away from a baby) and we got to visit some more.

I had a somewhat strange shock —for the first time in several years, Nick is letting his hair grow out into his natural color. Last time I saw his real hair color it was blonde, but now it is a medium brown like his dad’s hair. Odd. Both of the other kids are still blonde.

We had a great laugh at Layla, who has a rather Pavlovian response to cameras. Every time a camera gets in front of her face, she cracked a big, toothless grin. We all had fun with that, trying to see how tough it was to sneak up on her with a camera. Nick especially got a kick out of it and had to video-tape the phenomenon.

Nick, who is even less comfortable around babies than Matt, was snuggling her and trying hats on her head by the time he left. Jess mostly backs carefully away.

Neither of the uncles responded too badly when Maggie approached with the drooly-faced baby for good-bye kisses when the boys had to leave. Funny, but my little boys, after all of these years of knowing how their minds work, can still surprise me.

Nick and Jess stayed a few hours, but then had to get going. Nick works nights and hadn’t been to bed, and he was fading fast. Then Maggie started the long process of tracking down all of Layla’s stuff, which was kind of all over the house by then. Since Matt wasn’t around to carry it all out to the car, we made Eric do it, while I stocked up on Layla snuggles.

Pretty soon the girls were gone, and Eric and I were looking around an empty house —no signs of the chaotic weekend other than a forgotten baby bottle and a few dirty dishes. Within a few minutes I was handling a city council issue up at the city hall and Eric was over at his friend’s house, and by evening I was helping a neighbor with a speech project. Then we just ran out of steam.

Around 8 p.m., the house was still, Eric and I were in the living room in our usual chairs —he was on the computer and I was reading. Ahhh, quiet once more.

Except for the icky weather and knowing my boys didn’t get a chance to see each other and not seeing Luke, the weekend was perfect. Like an early Mother’s Day.

I still want presents, though. I like presents.