So Kolbe had a doctor's appointment and rather than rushing him back to school, I decided we'd just play hooky.
Please don't inform his school.
I love being a family of six. I am so very grateful God gave these kids of mine brothers and a wee sister to enjoy (most of the time) and to love (all of the time). But here's the truth: I miss spending time alone with the kids. And here's another inconvenient truth: You really can't play hooky in high school. I'm seizing the day while I can.
Kolbe is a great kid.
We are not big on nicknames in our family. Most of the monikers that get bandied about are veiled insults at worst, light teasing at best. Perhaps this isn't entirely true. John goes by John John sometimes and Little J occasionally. He does not like being called Bill, a name his cousins and brothers like to call him just because it gets him riled up. Ainsley is Ainsey or Ainsey Girl or Ainsey Boo. She does not like being called Ainsley Long Legs, a name her cousins and brothers like to call her just because it gets her riled up. Tim was Timmy until he put his foot down in 8th grade. We called him Tiger when he was small (a point he'll vigorously deny).
Kolbe has mostly just been Kolbe unless we consider the sarcastic nicknames. Kolbe's middle name is Edward, so for a while Tim called him Eddie Boy. Then he somehow became Smart One which alternated with Genius so often Ainsley was convinced Genius was a bad word. Smartacus reared its head from time to time. Then there was the uninspired Klob and more recently, Klobeson.
Not long ago I put my arm around Kolbe, gave him a hug, and called him Steady Eddie. There wasn't a hint of sarcasm involved.
Kolbe is a steady guy, and with all the topsy turvy gyrations in a busy household, this is not a quality that goes overlooked or unappreciated. We have a standing piano lesson at 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning, The boys alternate who takes this one. The early bird gets breakfast delivered in the car and gets a pass on morning chores -- no spiffying the bedroom, no bed to make, no dishes to load. Last week the morning shift fell to Tim. I started to ask Kolbe to grab Tim's backpack and lunch, and you know what? The boy was all over it without being asked.
Kolbe went through a brief period in elementary school during which he got just a tad OCD about instructions. If a party was in the future, he'd remind me like seventeen times that he needed to contribute a big bag of chips to the affair.
And he'd remind me again and again and again.
"You know I need a bag of chips . . ." he'd begin.
"Yes, Kolbe," I'd respond.
"A big one," he'd helpfully add.
I began buying his assigned items way early and leaving them in the car.
He generally knew where he was supposed to be and what he needed to have. And there were days it was such a palpable relief to be able to count on him, I would give him a big hug and tell how truly grateful I was for him.
Kolbe turned twelve recently. I did what I have never one before: I hosted a three hour birthday party. Birthday parties under my jurisdiction are typically 1) off site (let someone else clean up the mess) and 2) short (blessedly, mercifully short).
See, I've been burned at time or two. I won't get into too many gory details save to note that I took a super-soaker to the face at one party designed to promote Water Fun! Let me tell you, that proved to be not so much fun. I have been known to pour a stiff drink if the party wraps up 'round about five o'clock or to scarf down a half dozen chocolate cupcakes if the cocktail hour is not yet upon us. If you ask if your child can be picked up three or four or five hours after the designated end of the party, I just might hesitate before answering, and, well, there's a reason for that.
This year, I threw caution to the wind and hosted a three hour party that began at my house -- and included food and beverages -- and then went on to the skating rink which is typically the near occasion of a migraine headache for me.
It was all great fun, and I am not even making that up.
Kolbe is a nice, funny kid in a class full of nice, funny kids.
So today we played hooky. I enjoyed my nice, funny kid. We had lunch. We shopped. We tooled around town and laughed about everything and nothing.
I just may schedule another doctor's appointment sometime soon.