The telephone rang yesterday afternoon, just as I was getting ready to leave for the library.
"Mommy?" came an indistinct voice, accompanied by much background interference of happy shrieks and squeals and music being played over an intercom.
"Hi, Aisli!" I said, feeling an enormous warm rush of happiness at hearing her chirpy voice. "How are you, honey?"
"I'm fine! I am so fine, you just don't know! We're all at a water park right now and we're having so much fun!"
"What have you been doing at the water park?"
"Well, first of all, they have this thing called a wave pool? And it makes waves just like the ocean? Nanny and I thought it looked like fun, so we got in it and a wave came and knocked us down and we skinned our knees on the bottom, kind of like when you're at the beach and a wave throws you all around on the sand."
I got an amusing mental image of my mother and Aisling whirling around in a wave, both emitting piercing screams and getting their mouths full of water. "Oh, dear. That sounds a little rugged. What did you do next?"
"Next we went down the water slide. The first time, I leaned forward instead of backward and I just about got drowned, but Nanny pounded me on the back and I coughed and choked up a bunch of water."
This was slightly alarming to me, until I realized that Aisling's coughing and choking is usually due to the fact that she simply cannot keep her mouth closed, even if she knows that water is going to come in. "Did you try it again?" I asked.
"Yup," she said. "And that time, Nanny and I went down together and my bathing suit top fell down."
"Oh my gosh...."
"And I didn't even know it! We got to the bottom of the slide and stood up in the water and Nanny was laughing and laughing, but I didn't know what she was laughing at and then she pulled up my top."
By then, I was doing some laughing of my own. "I bet Nanny was disappointed that she didn't get a chance to flash the park. She probably thinks there are some Mardi Gras beads around there somewhere."
Aisling began to laugh and I heard my mother ask her what was so funny. Aisling said to her, "Mommy said you were probably disappointed that you didn't get to flash everyone."
"Give me that phone," my mom said.
"I brought you up better than that."
"You tried. I give you credit for trying."
"Anyway. I already flashed that beach in Hawaii -- ACCIDENTALLY -- when your dad and I went there. Ever since then, I've known to hang onto my top."
"All it takes is one moment of inattention, Mom, and then BAM! Mardi Gras beads are coming at you from all directions."
"You shut up. You are such a bad girl. Be ashamed."
"Here's Aisling back."
Aisling said, "Do you miss me?"
"Like a world without chocolate," I said lightly. "Where's MeeMee?"
"She's just now coming from the big water slide. Do you want to talk to her?"
"Yup," I said.
"Okay. Here she is. I love you, Mommy! I miss you! I'm having a good time! Tell Daddy I love him!"
"I will, honey," I said. "Mind your top."
The phone was transferred from one wet hand to another. "Mommy?" said Meelyn, excitement in her happy voice.
"Hi, sweetheart! How is the world's most awesome teenager doing?"
"Ooooh, Mommy! It's so great! We're having so much fun! I've gone down the biggest water slide a bunch of times. You have to climb, like, five flights of steps to get up there. I was so scared, but I told myself I was going to do it since the boys were doing it. And it is so much fun!"
"That sounds so great, honey! Are you....errr....having any troubles with your top?"
"No," she giggled. "I hang onto it real tight."
"So what else have you been doing?"
"Well," she said thoughtfully, "Aisli and I took Kiersi for a little walk last night and we swung her between our hands and she laughed so hard and loved it."
"Oh, how fun. She's such a cutie."
"And we've played a lot of ping-pong. Did you know that Poppy is a very competitive ping-pong player? He about makes you swallow the ball."
(Can you get delirium tremens from being away from the golf course for a week?)
"How's it going with you and Aisli in the same bed together? Or do you have separate rooms?"
"No, we're in the same room. We like it better like that."
"Do you have fun, giggling and talking before you go to sleep?"
"Nope," said Meelyn. "We are way too tired to talk at night. We hit the sheets and don't move until morning. We're having the best time!"
We talked for a few more minutes and then Meelyn said she needed to get back to the slide. "I love you, Mommy. Tell Daddy I love him. I miss you both."
"We miss you, too. And we're so glad you're having a good time!"
"We are! This is so much fun! I'll talk to you later, Mom. 'Bye!"
Ooooh, ouch. OUCH. I have been really enjoying my days, but I didn't think I'd miss them quite this painfully.
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