We split along gender lines this weekend.  Marc is taking Sam to the Chuck Wagon Derby today, and sleeping there tonight.  I told Jessica and Julianna down to my mother’s house, spent the morning and early afternoon at the Clinton Town Wide yardsale, and then hung out at my mom’s and sister’s this afternoon.

Before I left, I had diligently packed Sam’s backpack, with warmer clothes, extra socks, the new Harry Potter book (new to him – they’re reading their way thru the series and are about to start Book 6) and a book light.  I put a flashlight in there, bug stuff, and clean underwear.

They left it here.

So my men are off, in the wilds of Paxton, with nary a clean pair of underwear between them.  I’m almost 100% certain that I’ll pick them up tomorrow, grubby, smelly, bug-bitten and wearing the same clothes I left them in this morning.   I’m trying to be all zen about it, whatever will be, will be.  It’s not like I can or should do anything about it…. I could pack up my girls, load up the car with Sam’s stuff (and what appears to be the top of the grill, I think they might need that…) and go bomb around Paxton, hoping to find them.  In the dark.

More than likely, they’re totally fine, happy, grubby and I’ll just have to hose them off before letting them in the house.

It’s an odd experience, with only two kids.  Especially only these two kids – generally, when I’ve got two, it’s Sam and Julie.  There’s more than seven years difference between them, and you can tell.  They aren’t peers.  At all.  They don’t play together.  Jessie can babysit for Julie, function as an almost quasi-adult when she’s with her.  But Julie bugs her.  On purpose, sometimes, and sometimes just by being four years old.  She touches everything, wants whatever Jessie is working on or doing.  She wants to BE Jessie, she wants to be cool like her, able to dress Polly Pockets by herself (I HATE Polly), and fix the toy car when the door breaks off.  But she can’t – and so has to resort to screaming at Jessie to redeem herself.

It’s been, at times, kind of challenging, today.

But when it wasn’t challenging, it was a lovely day.  The weather was great, and I love having my kids spend time with my mom and sister.    They gardened, harvesting fresh broccoli and huge leaves of lettuce from my sister’s garden.  They ate their grandfather’s chocolate ice cream and shared potato chips and ketchup and conversation while I mowed the lawn for them.  We finished up with dinner at the Chinese buffet (one quick way to cut down on Jessie spending all of her yard sale profit on more little knick knacks to clutter up her room is to offer a trip out for dinner with our profits).

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