The Good Neighbours just had their baby son christened today. Between the two of them (and therefore in their one baby) the comprise some mix of Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, I think Finnish, and something else. Not surprisingly, their party next door was pretty mammoth, and I'm pretty sure everybody there was somehow related to the baby-of-honour, except for me. I just learned how to crochet at camp last week, though, so I'm making him a blanket, which is almost as good, right? Not surprisingly (what? am I stereotyping? okay . . . yes) the Italian strain at this party was particularly strong, incorporating food, accents, hand gestures, a couple of fresh-off-the-boat teenagers, and a cute but slightly skeevy cousin telling me I was gorgeous while serving me a cheeseburger. (Are cheeseburgers Italian if an Italian makes them?)
Like a wedding in which one only knows the bride and groom, I felt a little awkward for most of the party, though Good Neighbour Dad's dad was friendly. It helped when I brought Oscar over. Then a couple of elementary-aged girls came over to pat him and we sat on the grass and talked for a long time. I told them about the two weeks of day camp I had just finished running, and said that I thought they would like it and maybe they should think about going next year. They were a little uncertain when they heard it was a church camp; they said if we talked about the Bible all the time, it would be too much like CCD. I assured them it wasn't, but then, what do I know? I've never been to CCD . . .
Anyway, while I was sitting there having a smashing time with these children and Oscar, I also found a moment to feel relieved. The Sixes have been back and staying in my house again this fall, and while their presence is a pleasure and we've had some really nice moments (when I've been around and not on teen mission trips and church conferences and day camp to have them). But their kids are--well, kids--and I just spent two weeks running a day camp full of kids, and I tend to be a rather low-energy person anyway, so all this energy has been a little overwhelming. I found myself feeling, on Friday . . . and yesterday . . . and this morning . . . more than a little disappointed with myself. I mean, this is the chick who used to want to run (or at least work in) an orphanage or something. What has happened to me, that I only feel comfortable with teenagers and no younger these days?
It's probably a good sign that I shouldn't have kids of my own, but evidently, if this afternoon is any indication, I can still enjoy spending time with children, and they can still enjoy spending time with me. It just kind of helps to be able to turn them over to their parents at the end of the day.