When I pulled into the driveway I could see woodsmoke lacing a trail from our chimney to the trees towering overhead. I smiled, Sean had done his part to welcome me home. My toes wriggled in my shoes in anticipation of walking the familiar floors of our house and resting on the smooth slate tiles as the heat of the flames kissed my feet.
I walked into the house and plunked my bags on the ground. Beso immediately came running, emitting a sheepish bark of, “Where did you come from?” I smiled. Next came Ave, “Mom? Mom is that you?” She thundered down the stairs as Finley began shouting, “Mom, mom, ohmygoshmom, ohmygoshmom!” with screams added in between for effect. Briar followed, slightly more subdued, but as all three piled on me for hugs, Briar’s arms squeezed every bit as tight as her sisters.
We stayed in our massive, tree trunk hug for a few minutes. They told me about their weekend with their lips pressed into the tails of my shirt and the pockets of my coat. I ran my hands along the backs of their heads and told them I’d missed them. I had purchased little, wool finger puppet ornaments for them at the gift shop at Kripalu and wrapped them in airy scarves I bought there as well.
“Ok, the only rule is no fighting over colors or creatures.” Finley took a breath that looked like a lead up to a “Yes, but” as I took the first bundle out, it was coral colored, I handed it to her, then quickly gave Avery a lavender bundle, and Briar a blue one. They unfurled the fabric and they each instantly fell in love with the creature they’d been given. They bleated thank yous at me and then dashed upstairs to play.
Maybe 40 minutes later they came downstairs and handed me a piece of paper. “Here, read this, then come upstairs and prepare to silence your electronic devices and refrain from talking.” I nodded dutifully and looked at the paper.
They’d planned a play entirely built around “the Super Finger Pu-pets Super heroes.” Sean and I went upstairs to watch the show. The girls were crouched behind one side of our bed, we sat across from them. I had my phone on silent. “May I take non-flash pictures?” I asked.
Finley nodded, “Yes, but please try’n not do that click-click-click thing, it distracts the actors.” I promised to behave. Sean did too.
They began the performance. I can tell you that the plot line revolved heavily around bathroom needs, that of the characters and, eventually, the actors portraying them. There was even a bona fide intermission. They got a little confused and asked for food. I explained that typically the audience gets a snack, not the cast. They laughed, then looked on expectantly. I made a snack plate and we reconvened once the famished performers were recharged.
We watched with delight as Finley would pop up and Briar would feed her her lines. There were lots of stage whispers and then , “Oh, right, I remember” instances. The lines weren’t the only thing tripping Fin up, she had a sort of odd finger placement with her puppet.
I turned to Sean and whispered, “Hey, is she…?” He looked at me and was about to respond when Briar popped her head up, “Ahem, SHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” We sat back and nodded. Fin popped back up. There was no denying it.
Her brown bear character, Smokey, ran through some dialogue. She was most definitely, flipping us the bird. Sean demonstrated. I laughed hysterically. The girls sprang up to take a proud bow.
After the show we went downstairs to watch Harry Potter. There was something in the air, an excitement, maybe just gratitude, at us being all together again. We piled on to the sofa, kittens and all. Littlest Luna did her part to send telepathic messages to Harry Potter.
“No, Harry, no. You mustn’t go there!”
Harry made it out ok and I made it home. A perfect scene.