Last night I had time enough after walking through the door to hang up my coat, stash my laptop, and replace some scattered books to their respective shelves before the doorbell rang. At the door were two young guests, both under the age of seven, who would be spending the evening with me while their mom and dad had a much-needed date night.
As a single woman, my apartment isn’t exactly a child’s paradise, but whenever the two munchkins come to visit they end up having more than a good time. If it wasn’t for my downstairs neighbors having two little ones themselves, I’d wonder what they thought of the shrieks, giggles, and occasional booms coming from overhead.
One of their favorite things to talk about when here is how they are standing over someone else’ home. Everyone else they know lives in a real house, so the concept of an apartment building is still novel to them. “Am I standing on a light bulb, Edifur?” “We have to tiptoe so we don’t wake up the baby, right?” And with every little sound of a door closing or someone moving outside I get asked, “What was that? Are they coming here? Is it mommy and daddy already?”
If you haven’t already guessed, my honorary munchkins are more than a little inquisitive. I always try to find funny ways to answer their silly questions, but I also try to answer their serious ponderings as honestly, and simply as I can. Don’t ask me why, but for some reason last night they were asking me about Golden Dragons and Vampire Bats. They’re also storytellers (a family trait). They love regaling me with tales about something that happened — usually repeatedly with more and more laughs each time — and I do my best to act just as surprised the tenth time as I did the first.
After playing tickle monster, letting them beat me at Wii Sports (which was surprisingly difficult for my competitive nature to handle), and teaching them how to play checkers (they saw my crystal chessboard in the “library” room and wanted to play with it), I decided it was time to settled down on the couch with a book. Bed time had come and gone, and I didn’t want the Munchkins to turn into Munsters.
I ended up selecting Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. It’s a little old for them, but I really enjoy the series and I thought Percy’s perspective would keep them entertained. Of course the things I found charmingly goofy they found to be pure genius. A crazy girl named Nancy Bobofit who loves peanut butter and ketchup sandwiches? A teacher who sprouts bat wings and then explodes into a pile of sand? If my neighbors hadn’t been wondering what was going on in the apartment of the “quiet girl who’s never home” before, they were now. (By the way, Viv, I take full responsibility if they start calling Nana Grandma Nancy Bobofit or if they asked for an odd breakfast this morning!)
Last night served as a much needed reminder to me that it’s the simple things that leave the biggest impact. The world is still fresh and full of possibilities to a four- and five-year old. Life is all about adventure and excitement. It’s something that’s easy to forget when slogging through each day trying to figure out how to make ends meet.
So, as I get back to writing today I’ve decided I need to find my own Nancy Bobofit and maybe some peanut butter and ketchup sandwiches....