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July 19, 2002
three years ago
five years ago

Back in Bellevue, MIB II, and Quiet

10:06 pm: Folks were bumping around early this morning. Packing, getting ready to go. I knew that at least one carload was planning on getting on the road by 8. John took Jet out to play at 7, when Jet made a few peeps. Since I'd been up with him three times last night, I was quiet willing to stay in bed. But I got up at 7:30, put myself together and then got up to at least say good-bye.

Folks were running a bit late. The last of the breakfast foods were being cooked and eaten. Not really *ALL* the breakfast food, just all the leftovers that were small enough to finish off. The sausage was being cooked, various people were heating up grits, and there was one egg left that John had saved for me while making scrambled eggs for everyone else. Jet grabbed me just as I was about to crack the egg into the pan, so I had him on one hip and tried, for the first time, to crack an egg one-handed.

It worked out perfectly. The egg split evenly, it fell into the pan neatly, and the yolk was whole. David was great and took the shell away from me. I got to watch it cook. I already had some grits and two sausages in my bowl. Jet watched the egg gravely as well, and grinned when I turned it. When it was done I put it on my bowl and Jet reached for it. I told him it was hot and he stopped.

We perched on one of the benches at the table, and I cut up his sausage for him. He ate the whole sausage happily, even covered with grits and wrapped in an occasional piece of egg white. He'd already eaten a banana a bite of bagel. So I wasn't worried he'd starve, but I was glad that he was eating the sausage as well. I don't really think Jet's eaten very many solids for the last week, and it was good to see him eat something substantial again.

Everyone was whirling around packing, cleaning, stripping beds, chasing the last of the food, and when the first cars started to set off, with saying good-bye. Simon and Bernd had to leave early so that George and Isabel could get them to the airport on time. They had a 1-something flight, and it would be a good two-plus hours to the airport. By the time everything was packed and ready to go it was already 8:40.

Poor Simon looked rather dejected all morning. I learned, later, that he hadn't wanted to leave. He'd had such a good time.

Amusingly enough, at one point, Jet wanted to nurse, so I nursed him on the livingroom couch. Simon came by to visit and Jet surprised the heck out of me by trying to kick Simon, as hard as Jet could and still stay attached. I don't know why. Later John said that Simon had had a philosophical discussion with Bernd about whether or not Jet was a brother or not. He said that brothers play with each other, but they also kick each other. Cousins are more fun because all you do is play with them. So he thought that Jet should be a cousin instead of a brother, but he thought that sometimes Jet might qualify as a brother.

Hearing that Jet was kicking at Simon made the philosophy make sense to John. I thought it was pretty cool of Simon to think that through.

We hugged Bernd and Simon good-bye. We also hugged Paul, Marina and Jan good-bye, as David was taking them out to their plane. They're hopping the country on their way home to Oregon. Jet even said buh-bye to Granny and Grandpa, too, and gave Isabel a kiss on the cheek, as they were going to do the drop-off at the airport.

The house was a lot quieter once they were all gone. Cathie, Walt, John, Emily, and Yuri all finished up everything that had to be done to the cabin. We started the first of many loads of laundry, hauled all the garbage out to the garbage bins, and then double-checked for last things. Emily put a CD into the CD player and Jet heard it and started dancing, so I brought him downstairs and let him dance with Emily and Yuri. They had a lot of fun, and it was fun to watch as well.

Jet really liked that time with his big cousins.

When Dave came back, we did one more check, and then made sure everything was in the car it was supposed to be in, and then they locked up the cabin. John made sure that the window we broke into was locked, as he didn't want anyone sneaking in on his watch. Isabel had had the keys, so we didn't have one. Of course, a minute after David drove off, he drove back to say that Emily had accidentally left her CD in the CD player. Oops. We decided to just tell the caretakers, and have them mail it to her.

Then we drove off. Jet asked for a toy a few times, and he was content with my sunglass case. He was also pretty tired from the active morning, and went to sleep about ten minutes out from the camp. I went to sleep soon after.

I woke up to the sounds of Jet waking up and watching John trying to feed Jet goldfish behind his back while driving. I took the goldfish and started feeding Jet instead. We were nearly home, just at the south end of Woodinville. With gold fish and a bit of water in a mostly empty Talking Rain bottle, Jet was pretty content. We got in a bit before noon. So he'd had a nearly two hour nap, solid.

Jet was in a great mood. He talked and talked and talked to us while we unpacked. He followed folks around as they put things away and he was interested in everything. He enjoyed playing with everything and anything, and when we were completely unpacked, John talked over our afternoon plans with his mother. We wanted to watch a movie, and we wanted to eat lunch out. So a few minutes later we snuck out the front door while Isabel called Jet down a particular hallway.

Jet saw me near the door. He gave me a look that seemed to say that I was about to play a dirty trick on him, but he'd go see what Grandma was doing, anyway.

We then disappeared to go see MIB II in Redmond. But, first, we decided to have short ribs at the Toshi's Teriyaki we'd always eaten at in Redmond. We only had 40 minutes until the movie, so we needed something fast. We ordered one short rib lunch and shared it. There was plenty of food for the both of us, after this last several days of food, and it was only six bucks. With fast food like that who would ever go to McDonald's?

The ribs were perfectly sweet and salty with that little bit of fat char from their grill. Juicy and delicious and covered with their teriyaki sauce that I've never found duplicated anywhere. I had to buy a bottle of their sauce just to see if I can't make the short ribs that I have in my freezer even close to what they have. The little Indian lady was there as she was before we left, and her man was manning the lunch station and the grill behind her. They were as cheerful as ever, and they cooked the ribs to order as always. They were hot off the grill and so good doused in the souse on the firm but faintly sticky rice. The cabbage salad was crisp and tart and sweet and fragrant with ginger. Yum.

I put my half of the meal in the top of the Styrofoam carton and devoured it. It was so good I was glad we shared the one meal as I probably would have eaten a whole one if I'd gotten it. I do not need the food.

From there we got to MIB in plenty of time at the Redmond Towne Center's theaters. I enjoyed the movie. It was fun and had cool special effects, but it wasn't as good as the first movie. I thought the plot lacked something of a satisfying ending. There were also some weird cuts for a few scenes. But it hung together okay, logically, and my suspension of disbelief wasn't kicked in the head. I was glad of that.

I got to see the trailer for The Two Towers for the first time. That was a heartbreaker of a trailer, knowing the story from re-reading the books before the first movie. The images don't match the ones I imagined, as I don't usually read of images... the words are enough to me; but the single image of the White Rider at the head of the army meeting the forces of Evil at the very moment the two armies clash was more than perfect. It made me cry. All the emotions that lie deep under the story were brought up to the surface at that glimpse.

It's going to be great.

Minority Report was playing at a bad time for us, today. We will probably see it sometime in the next few days, anyway.

We got home to find Jet dancing around happily. He was playing, bouncing, and had had a wonderful afternoon with his grandparents. They'd just gotten back from the store, and he'd gotten an hour's nap in after running all around Target. He'd slept while they did the grocery shopping. And he was in high spirits.

He followed John and I out to pick raspberries, and helped. He picked what berries he could see and reach and put them into the bucket. He also took some out of the bucket, he threw bark into the bucket, and he carried the bucket, too, for part of the way. I wanted to encourage him to help and to pick and carry; but I also know that my perfectionist side was mildly horrified that he was picking unripe and even green berries, and that he wasn't strong enough to carry the bucket with much stability.

I did my best to not criticize what he was doing; but I did make him stop putting bark into the bucket by handing him berries to put into the bucket. Soon he was emptying that hand of berries on a regular basis into the bucket. That kept him busy, happy, and he didn't have to choose berries. I also let him pick what he wanted to pick, but didn't insist that he put them into the bucket, so he got to pick some as well. There are so many berries, I didn't think that the waste of a few green ones would be a problem.

I enjoyed the picking. When John was done, and started leading Jet back, or to play with him, I got to go over the rows I'd picked with one eye on Jet over again. That was far more thorough.

When we got back, Isabel had a good, cold dinner on the table. Just sliced turkey breast, a rice salad, some sliced tomatoes and cucumber, and a bit of cooked broccoli for Jet. Jet ate a good deal of rice salad, and then he ate a couple of Japanese rice crackers that Isabel passed around. He nibbled a few trees, and ate the crowns off two or three of them. I enjoyed the light dinner.

Afterwards John recorded both the party tape and the reunion tape onto a video tape for George and Isabel. We watched it while it recorded, and while the lodge tape was getting recorded, John and I took Jet for a little walk. It was already well past 8, but Jet was still on the go. He powered up the hills, went in all directions once we got to the top. He was good. He mostly stayed with us. He liked some of the bark areas, and had a steady disregard of just how steep some of the drop-offs were. We had to watch him pretty closely to see that he didn't tumble off them. But he loved walking on his own.

When he'd stumbled and fallen a few times, and started wandering further and further from us, we decided to go back to the house. He had a choice of walking with us or getting carried. When he didn't walk with us, I just picked him up. After four or five steady, patient iterations, he decided he'd walk with us. John had to take his hand for an excursion across the street and back, but he mostly did fine. He loved going downhill.

He found a wild cherry, and decided it was the perfect ball for throwing. So he'd throw it down the hill, run after it, start leaning forward in order to pick it up again, and have to use his feet, really fast, to brake as he was still propelling down the hill. He did a few spectacular stops without wiping out at all. The stops impressed me. Then he did the final hill at a run, not caring about the cherry anymore.

Jet was grinning like crazy as he zoomed down, just on the edge of his ability to control his momentum. Happy boy.

He wanted to do it all again, and trooped back up the short hill; but John finally had to pick him up and bring him back, as Jet didn't want to head back, at all. Once John picked him up, though, Jet didn't fight it or ask to be put down until they were at the head of the stairs to the driveway.

Then John took both of Jet's hands and they went down the steps. Jet got to just step right down with John supporting most of his weight. There was a "Whee!!" at each step.

Yay!

After all that excitement, we sorted laundry, got Jet dressed in his pajamas, and I took a while to put him to bed. For some reason Jet refused to go to sleep on the mattress, and only after he'd rolled into the blanket and found himself face to face with me on the ground, too, did he fall asleep. I don't know if it's the plastic on the mattress crinkling; but Jet really has been avoiding the mattress for a few days, now, and we'll have to try something else tomorrow, I think.

I also don't really like him sleeping on the floor as there's concrete immediately under the carpeting. So we'll think of something.

I've since taken some time to write, drink a bit of Bengal spice tea, and watch the sunset over Seattle from George and Isabel's marvelous picture windows facing the West. John's already asleep. He watched some TV, read the newspaper, and prompted me to write a little. I'm tired, and the house is so oddly quiet without all the people we've gotten used to in the last several days.

Oddly enough, it seems a little lonely instead of comfortably quiet. I know that I've gotten used to having all these people around. Jet, though, was so happy today, to have four adults to himself, or even the two grandparents just to himself. No vying against other kids, no kids he has to defend himself against, and so little noise and chaos and adults paying attention to lots of other things. He doesn't have to compete with Marina for Isabel's attention, and he knows it. I hope that bodes well for these next few days.

I think it does. We'll get to see.

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