Laugh if you must, but have you felt how soft Kentucky Bluegrass is on your bare feet? Then, imagine a lush backyard of green surrounded by yellow, pink, purple and blue flowers. Add two kids happily chasing their father as you watch from the patio. It's pure bliss. My parents' house, just outside Peoria, is about the best place on Earth for me. I didn't even grow up there. My parents moved there when I was 21. It doesn't matter. I love going there.
We spent a little over a week at my parent's, arriving at 3 a.m. a few Saturdays ago. Maya wouldn't go back to bed so we spent the next day exhausted but being exhausted there is even easier. Of course, there are two extra adults around who can help us. And believe me, they help us. Will is amazed at how often my parents do laundry. A load of laundry can stay in my dryer for days without me remembering that it's there. That doesn't happen at the Gott house, and I love my parents even more for that.
We went shopping, took the kids swimming and floating on the lazy river at a water park and took them to Safetytown, a bicycle course filled with traffic signs for kids to follow. I took Maya and Guillermo to visit several of my friends, including one who moved her husband and kids into the house I did grow up in, and we played at several parks. My parents watched the kids for one weekend while Will and I spent a lazy weekend in Chicago with friends. (Now I'm trying to lobby Will to move to Chicago, partly because we had so much fun and partly because it's close to my family. It's never going to happen, I know, and in reality, it's probably for the best).
My parents took Guillermo and Maya to see a Peoria Chiefs baseball game and let them stay to see the fireworks after the game. I had tried to take Guillermo to see fireworks on July 4th but the show was cancelled because of storms. My parents said the kids were in awe. Guillermo later told me it was beautiful and he was sad for me because I missed it. He then kissed me on the cheek. Maya, apparently, repeated this the entire 40 minutes home from the ball game: "Fireworks, again, yes, Show Mama. Fireworks, yes, again. Mama see."
Maya woke up every day at 6 a.m. or earlier, except our last day, when she slept until 6:30 a.m., which meant we missed my father who had already left for work. Rats. But other than that, we had a wonderful visit and I can't wait to go back.