21. Louise and Co. (March 2013)
Louise is coming to town…Louise is coming to town… Kate hummed to the tune of "the Farmer in the Dell.” It was 8 o’clock in the morning on a Saturday, and Kate was up, dressed and (mostly) cheerful. If anything could get her out of bed that early on a Saturday, it would be the arrival of her best friend, Louise. She could only stay for four days, but Kate was glad to see her and her boys at all! They were to meet at a park in
Maryland, since they were coming from Louise’s in-laws’
house in Delaware, and had to stop at the Baltimore airport to drop
her husband off. Kate checked the map for the fifth time. An out-of-the-way
park was not an ideal place for a rendezvous, but she figured there was a reason,
and tried not to be too apprehensive. After
all, Kate thought optimistically, if
we’re both trying to get together and we’re both going to the same spot, how
complicated can it be?
An hour later, she was on the phone with Mister. She identified her road, “I’m going west,” she said. “Is that right?” She said the names of the roads as she passed them.
“Uhm.” Mister hesitated. “I’m not sure. Are you going South?”
“No. I’m going west. It’s an east-west road.”
“Well where you are, it’s going north-south. Maybe you should turn around.”
“Phooey!” She had already turned around twice. No one believes in straight roads anymore, she grumbled unreasonably. Normally, she preferred windy roads. Just not today.
“Who picked this place to meet?” Mister asked in that tone of voice which indicated that if said person were present, he would get a piece of Mister’s mind.
Kate laughed. “I don’t know. But I didn’t, so don’t blame me. A few minutes passed. Sooo,” she said hesitantly, “I’m not seeing any of those roads you mentioned. Here are my cross streets again,” and she gave Mister her new position.
“Oh!” he said, surprised. “You’re going the wrong way. Turn around. You’re probably about a mile away.”
“You mean I was going the right way to start with?” she growled.
|Hank (at a different park than the one where we met up)|
“I guess so. Well, you should be good to go now. Good luck and give me a call if you need more help!” And Mister hastily hung up.
A few minutes later saw Kate safely at the park. She hopped out of the car, curvy roads all forgot. She and Louise hugged fondly and chatted as they watched 2-year-old Hank zoom around the playground. It was obvious now why the park had been chosen. Louise was half African-American, and she had married a handsome, pale blonde young man. The resulting effect in Hank (and baby Ike too) was a round, tanned-looking, full lipped face, with tightly curled honey colored hair. Hank was fiercely enthusiastic about everything he loved. “TRAIN!!!” he would roar, and then run around chug-chugging and tooting his horn. Kate couldn’t help thinking that he would have made a perfect model for Normal Rockwell—if he could sit still long enough.
That night, when Kate and Bettina were preparing dinner, Jack spotted 6 month old Ike in the living room, and instantly went over to play with him. He cooed and cuddled and bounced and tickled, and Kate thought, with admiration, that the Miller family produced very good uncles (Mister already having proved himself one of the best.) She would look forward to Jack and Bettina playing with her own baby…will we have a boy or girl? she wondered once again. Kate sighed contentedly. She loved having a full house. And even though the children were loud, and up early, and their things somehow always got scattered all over the house; Louise’s boys were very fun and cute, and Kate wished they could stay longer and looked forward to her own baby coming.
Boy or girl? she mused in her journal. Older brothers are the best, not that I’m partial…but we both come from families with oldest boys. I think I would like that. A little friend for Hank and Ike and cousin Thomas. But girls are wonderful too. I love little girl clothes, and tea parties, and dress-up. But boys are awfully fun too, with wrestling, and building forts, and sports—I don’t even care at this point. I just CAN’T WAIT to find out! Only two weeks to go…
|"Louise" and baby Ike at Easter lunch|
|One last trip to the playground|