It's an easy two hour drive, perhaps a bit more, however none to our surprise, Liam chatted away the entire drive. If no one is participating in his conversation, he's usually content to carry on with himself, though he does prefer a healthy exchange and will insert himself into whatever other dialog may be happening in the car. A perfect example is when I mentioned to Kevin that I had a headache and needed to eat something soon...
Liam: "I have a headache too."
Kevin: "No you don't. You're fine."
Liam: "Uh huh, I do. I ate a lot of food and it made my head hurt."
He's also getting a bit more brazen in his constant interruptions when we grown-ups may dare to get a word in edgewise... "Excuse me I'm talking!" he says.
Very excited to see Tio Juan, a Sergeant First Class and former Drill Sergeant in the US Army, Liam wore his "army pants" (e.g. camouflaged cargo pants) to show him. In the car, Liam also announced that he had a surprise for Tio Juan.
Kevin: "What's the surprise?"
Liam: "I can't tell you. It's a surprise for Tio Juan."
Kevin: "Well can you tell me?"
Liam: "No. It's a surprise."
Kevin (to me): "You try."
Me: "What's the surprise?"
Liam: "I can't tell you. It's not your surprise."
Recently, Liam has learned to count to 10 in Spanish (and German) and likes to randomly practice his language skills. Pausing in mid-count, he asked out of the blue, if Tio Juan spoke Spanish...
Me: "Yes, he does. He also speaks English."
Liam: "English? What is English?"
Kevin: "English is the language that we speak."
Liam: "What does English sound like?"
A side note: En route, I saw a fantastic bumper sticker on a Volvo station wagon which read: "Honk if you love silence" ...Now that's just the sort of sarcastic wit I can appreciate in my world. ;-)
We arrive around 2:30, thrilled to release the children into the waiting audience that is anyone besides us and see if we remember how to carry on an adult conversation. --But first, Liam has to give Tio Juan his surprise... which turned out to be a cotton bowl and wad of cotton he had collected on our trip to Grandma's farm. Awww.
And then (my eyes are watering and heart bursting with pride writing this), we watched our sweet little four year old boy as he stood tall and saluted his Uncle. Juan beamed, returning the salute. Then he let Liam try on his Drill Sergeant hat and his Texas Calvary hat... then Liam wanted to know about Tio Juan's tanks...
These days with three teenagers, everyone has a boyfriend/girlfriend and so the house was full with young people and even friends and neighbors - which was great for us because it was like having a house full of unsuspecting babysitters. --Liam worked the house and monopolized everyone's time (particularly Nicki's boyfriend Jake) and honed in on Daniel's girlfriend Mallory... while Isabel, the unnaturally good and quiet child for a change, set about carving out her walking path, sampling the food being prepared, and decided who she liked best by swatting at them. --Oh, and getting the cap off of a two-liter of Coke and chugaluggin' it. (Why her Occupational Therapist thought it wise to teach her to unscrew lids is beyond me. Yeah, thanks for that.)
At last the smorgasbord of food was prepared, the table set, and per tradition at Elvia's, we all took turns telling what we were thankful for... Isabel was thankful for food and Liam was thankful for windows. Huh? --Anyway, Thanksgiving being what it is, we all gorged ourselves on the traditional favorites and had no room for dessert, though that didn't stop us. Isn't that what it's all about after all?
So, after a wonderful day with friends and family, wonderful food, laughter and memories... we were trying to find the energy to head back to Raleigh when we noticed our son busy rearranging the room of people by simply taking a hand and dragging that person to the spot he wanted to reposition them. Curiously we watched...
Liam then walks over to where Daniel was sitting on the love seat sofa with his sweet, pretty fifteen year old girlfriend and takes Mallory by the hand, pulls her from the couch and leads her over to a fold out chair just two feet away. On cue, she sits as the little prince then strategically places himself in between the object of his affection and her beloved and proceeds to serenade her with the most romantic song he knew... "Happy Birthday to you..."
O.M.G. We are in SO much trouble.
"The life of man is the true romance, which when it is valiantly conduced, will yield the imagination a higher joy than any fiction."
...Ralph Waldo Emerson