It has been several weeks since our existence was last recorded. So much has transpired. The benefactor bid us adieu for 10 days, traveling east to Kentucky to chase her muse with a pen and paper. In her wake, the elder male and elder female were left in the care of a companion, continuing their studies in the benefactor’s absence.
While she was gone, the elder children decided to invite classmates over for a social gathering. In the midst, they decided to make homemade popcorn, neglecting the kernels as they smoldered and began to catch fire. According to the elder male, he smelled smoke, ran into the kitchen, and in a fit of desperate thinking, picked up the pot, ran outside, and threw it into the dirt, where an oil ring stain remains. There will no longer be popping of popcorn when the benefactor is not present.
Another incident relayed to the benefactor involved a man who was spotted by the elder female lurking in the front yard of our home as well as the neighbor’s. She told the benefactor that the man walked up to the front door and was breathing heavily. Of course, this was not relayed to the benefactor until days after the occurrence, at which point she was unable to do anything.
However, the scariest moment for the benefactor came as she was en route to return, and the elder female communicated that she was alone in the house when she suspected two people of breaking into the home. Apparently, law enforcement was already chasing some interested parties, and she believed the sought refuge in the living room. Smart as a whip, the elder female contacted the authorities who arrived promptly. It is believed the suspects disappeared over the back fence. Thus, the benefactor was greeted with tales of endangerment and fear upon her arrival. She felt grateful that all had survived the harrowing week and a half.
Seeing the children again gave the benefactor great joy, even though the younger children, when she finally saw them again for the first time, were primarily excited to learn with what gifts had been brought home for their benefit, rather than happy to just see the benefactor herself.
Later in the week, on the national holiday were people eat slaughtered turkeys with vegetable dishes, the elder children and the benefactor prepared a feast much greater than necessary for the three of them. As the younger children were not present, the table felt too quiet and empty. Twas the first time they had ever been separated for this particular celebration, and it was still lovely but somber.
To celebrate her return, the benefactor took all the children to a special viewing of the picture show, The Polar Express, on a huge screen with multidimensional realism. As usual, the benefactor gave everyone a time of departure hours in advance, and as usual, the elder female was slightly unprepared when the time to leave was upon them. Of course, this meant leaving later than planned, and arriving to the special event where a long line awaited them. Thankfully, seats were still available in the top row, and the benefactor and children settled in. The benefactor sent the elder female to purchase water and popcorn. As the younger children ravaged the popcorn instantly, the benefactor sent her back again to get another bucket, much to her chagrin. Afterward, the benefactor attempted to snap a photograph of all the children, only to have the elder male rebuke her efforts. This incited an argument, and the journey home was eerily silent. After arriving back at their domain, the elder male apologized profusely for his behavior, and the benefactor was glad to forgive him. More than anything, she was happy to have him, and the other children, to hug in person.
The children have been nitpicking at each other incessantly the past few days. Perhaps sensing the benefactor’s arriving departure, they are making it easier for her to journey by unleashing bickering and arguing. It is harder to miss people when they seem intent on driving you loony. One dispute, for instance, involved the younger female crying because she realized that she had not been living with the younger male his entire life, whereas everyone has. For some reason, it caused her great pain to comprehend that she had not been present since his birth, and her sensitive soul could not handle that realization.
This past Sunday, the children insisted on doing nothing, which was not quite out of the ordinary, except the benefactor truly needed them to really do some things. It felt like a constant tug of war, where she gained an inch of ground, only to have them retreat and complain. The benefactor had to pull out all the stops and threaten to withhold the very special holiday cookies that the children’s grandmother baked and shipped recently. Finally, motivation entered their bones to complete the tasks at hand.
On Monday, shopping was required to prepare and guarantee that the elder children would not starve and waste away in the benefactor’s absence. This was met with great resistance as the younger children had to accompany the benefactor. Thanks to the world losing light at an ungodly, early hour, their levels of fatigue and protest have elevated, and it only added to their unhappiness at arriving home later. The benefactor hoped to buffer this by providing a snack while at the general store, but even that was not enough to prevent their grumbles and bitterness.
Yesterday, with the benefactor prepared and ready to adventure, she was able to partake in an evening of party games with the younger children, playing a replication of life. As they played, the benefactor began questioning some of Life’s requirements, such as marriage. The elder male, open minded and adaptable, said she would not have to be married if she did not wish, so the benefactor’s pink piece happily wandered the board in its car solo, which felt like an appropriate metaphor for her own current existence.
In the midst, the younger female also asked her to assist with an educational art project, and they debated for some time how they should disguise the drawing of a turkey, with the younger female intrigued at the notion of turning him into a vampire or dinosaur. The benefactor, in an effort to seek greater originality, and taking into account the art supplies at hand, suggested turning the turkey into an iconic musician. After pondering the concept, the younger female agreed, and they gathered supplies as the younger male continued to play the game on their behalf. The younger female gave direction on what design she required, and the benefactor created such for her, occasionally having to wake the younger female, who began dozing while sitting and overseeing the project. Finally finished, the elder male announced that his sibling had won the game, and the benefactor ushered them off to bed.
This morning, the younger children took again to quarreling, with the elder male continually pushing past the limits of others, as he is wont to do. This specific argument, over whether they wanted each other as siblings (which is, at this moment, a moot point and well out of their ability to control, the genetic damage being done) ended in the younger female shedding tears of hurt. The elder children were woken by the quibbling, and then also became part of the disagreement, with voices bouncing off the walls. With early morning calm that she didn’t know existed, the benefactor was able to settle the younger children and encourage the elders to return to their sleeping lairs. The benefactor had to pull the elder male aside and explain his job as a role model for about the thousandth time, and why he should be kinder for one thousand and one. He heaved a sigh, looking at the benefactor with an expression of knowing what he should be doing, even though he didn’t want to do it. But alas, he is constantly learning, as we all are, in this game of life. It was as much a reminder to the benefactor to be gentle with herself when she doesn’t live up to her own expectations, as she is compassionate with him.
Saying goodbye is always the most difficult part for the benefactor when traveling. She hugged the younger children a few extra times, their bodies squirming to be free so they could get inside their educational center. They reluctantly obliged her a couple of snapshots, even though the younger male reminded her several times that she already has over 500 photos (touche). The younger female chimed in as well, saying that the benefactor didn’t need any more pictures, to which the benefactor replied she couldn’t get enough. In the apex of their youth, they do not feel the march of time the same as the benefactor, how important it is for her to capture these singular moments, lest they are one day confronted with the possibility of its impermanence, and given no more.
Earlier in the week, the benefactor had us prepare for the upcoming celebration of all things spooky and supernatural. She dragged a large tote from storage, and we dug in, eager to begin to piece together an eerie scene in the front courtyard. The younger male took some faux spider webbing, globbing it in big, thick sections from place to place, not taking the time to slowly stretch and pull it into the correct shape. After an hour, he became bored, and decided he no longer wished to participate, leaving the elder male to finish his handiwork and assemble the webs properly. The younger female quickly followed suite. As per her usual behavior, the elder female lay napping in her room, leaving the benefactor and elder male to complete the tableau.
That evening, the benefactor learned that the younger male had gotten himself suspended from an extra-curricular program due to proclaiming his right to free speech. He has been a repeat offender with speaking out of turn. So, the following day, the benefactor was required to gather him and the younger female directly after school, and then took them to her place of employment, where they sat drawing, until the elder male decided he was bored, and talked incessantly about it. When they finally began to leave, the benefactor told the younger male that she hoped he, “had 20 children just like yourself.” Unfortunately, this created a slippery slope conversation, where the younger male then replied, “You mean I would have to do it with 20 women, that’s a lot!” It further declined as he began working different mathematical angles, and treating his potential procreation as an equation: “I could have 5 women and do it with each of them 4 times.” The benefactor commented about the possibility of him being married 5 times and he replied that he was never getting married, and why should he? He then postulated that he could, “do it with 2 women for 40 times each” but couldn’t quite understand how the benefactor arrived at that meaning he would have to ‘do it’ 80 times. When he finally understood the calculation, he commented that if he ‘did it’ 80 times he could die, as that would be dangerous, since disease is always a risk. When the benefactor told him he could ‘do it’ once and get a disease, he pondered for a moment and then said, “Nah, I’ll use condoms.” With that, the benefactor firmly let the conversation drop into oblivion.
Yesterday was the celebration of Allhallows Eve, and the children all dressed in costumes: the younger children as popular pop culture icons, and the older two as television related characters and networks. The benefactor, along with a friend and her child, took the younger children to gather candy from houses donned with porch lights and decorations, walking them for over an hour. When they finally returned home, they spread out their candy bounty and began to negotiate amongst each other.
A moment of terror ensued when the younger female accidentally lodged a small ball of candy in her throat, prompting the benefactor to have to use rescue measures to assist her breathing. It was a frightening and awful moment for all the children, especially the younger female, who, once breathing, broke down crying. The benefactor calmed the younger female, her own nerves shaken, but later sat with her curled into her lap, crying fiercely and uncontrollably. The younger female consoled her and said not to worry because she was okay now, which helped but did not resolve the aching in the benefactor’s heart for what might have been lost.