By all reports the Texas Book Festival was, more than anything else, almost unbearably hot. Various presses display their books in large white temporary tents, and I've been in those tens when they were wet and freezing. This year, they were sweltering. Still, even with crowds in the thousands, it sounds a little more peaceful than Saturday night at my house. Five of my grandchildren and two sets of their parents were here. Four of those kids are four and under so there was lots of yelling and running and occasional tears and metldowns. It was a lovely, happy, absolutely exhausting time. Jordan left Jacob with us while she went to a birthday dinner, so we all took turns watching him--he is busier than the proverbial one-armed paper hanger. Jamie, whose girls are four and eight now, said, "I'd forgotten how tiring it is." Then, almost puzzled, he said, "I don't remember the girls being that busy." Jacob is used to my house being a lot quieter, and he loved every minute of the fun but by the time his mommy came his eyes were glazed over and he pointed to the door, as if to say, 'Okay, let's go now."
Sunday we went to breakfast which stretched into an hour-and-a-half and then to the bookstore and by then it was time for everyone to clean up for my sister-in-law's wedding reception. I was one proud mom with the five parents and five grandchildren sitting at the table with me. Kristine, the bride, said it really delighted her to look over and see our branch of the family there. It's nice to see someone look as radiantly happy as she did, and I'm delighted that both she and my brother have built new happy lives and marriages for themselves. There were funny moments--when the bride and groom were about to cut the cake and everyone stood around watching them, three-year-old Sawyer ran right up to the table like he was going to taste the icing. Megan crept up to get him. And there was a moment of crisis--Jordan in the lady's room with a baby with a dirty diaper, no wipes, no paper towels, trying to call our cell phones (none of us had them on). She got so distracted chasing Jacob, she left for my house, set off the alarm, and had to deal with the police. It was not her day. But it was Kristine's day, and here's to her happiness.
We planned to come home and eat leftovers before everyone departed for their own homes but we ate too much at the reception--good appetizers, veggies, cheese, etc. There were artichoke bottoms garnished with chopped tomato and herbs. Edie dumped the tomatoes (which she used to love) off about five of them and ate the artichoke part. And the cake! Ford and Sawyer ate chunks of icing off their mother's fork, and Sawyer ate his own piece of cake.
We were too full and too tired by 6 p.m. to think about barbecue--the Austin family left, Christian came by for two seconds, and they all left. I was home alone with way too much barbcue and a big bunch of marinated vegetables, to say nothing of brownies and a tub of ice cream that I don't want! I sent an SOS to Sue next door to send over her kids to collect it. I'll have to deal with the barbecue somehow.
By 7 p.m., the house was pretty much in order--the little kids do a great job of taking it apart and the big kids are equally good at putting it back together again. I sat at my desk eating veggies (the same kind that Madde ate for breakfast, a huge bowl!) and a half a barbecue sandwich and reflected on a truly great, if short, weekend.