Ali and Jenna claim they became friends while Amy and I were pregnant with them. We all like that idea, and while the girls attend different schools, we try to get them together as often as we can. No matter how long it's been, every visit is just like coming home. Jenna plays soccer and only recently gave up dance. She's considering Taekwondo now and Ali was happy to give her lessons.
At one point when they were together, I think Jeff had attacked Ali in the hallway. "I'm not that good, but I'm her sidekick," Jenna said, launching herself at Jeff and kicking the heck out of him. It was hysterical.
Later, they were wearing their matching pajamas (Alison's Christmas gift idea) and standing together. I said, "Oh no! How am I going to tell you apart?"
Jenna giggled and lifted up a chunk of Alison's rat's nest of curls. "Her hair!, Miss Cheryl. Just look at her hair!"
I'm kicking myself for not grabbing the camera right then but I didn't. Guess we'll have to get them together again so I can capture another moment. But I love this one from the summertime in 2007...
On the way to a play date with Amanda, who was new to school this year, Ali and Dominic were in the back seat sorting through the dozens of Gogos Ali had gotten for Christmas, talking trades and plotting strategies for swaps with other kids at school. While the three kids have become great friends since they met in August, we'd never been to her house.
"Wow! Amanda lives in a mansion," Alison said as we pulled into the drive.
"My Grandpa lives in a mansion," replied Dominic, who had also remarked on the house as we pulled in.
"Really?" Ali asked.
"Don't you remember? The pool?" Dominic prodded.
"Oh yeah," she said. "Mansions rock."
The house is very nice, and the Beaches are very nice people. The kids were off in a flash to explore.
For a time this spring and summer, Jeff was making noises about moving. I'm just too lazy. Our house is perfectly sized for our space needs, and I just have no interest in having to clean another square inch of space, but Ali and I had poked around a little bit at available homes in our area. I also love our area and school. It could be my small town roots, but I like knowing the layout of the grocery stores and the faces of the people who help me at the bank, the post office and the pharmacy.
Anyway, after a few houses, Alison declared that she wouldn't move. Unless it was to a mansion. We checked out a couple "mansions" and while she liked the visit, she's decided that, like me, she's quite happy with her own house.
Her definition of mansion, I think, is based on size and number of floors. You can have a second story and not have a mansion. Also a must: a laundry chute. She rejected a sweet home with amazing landscaping, crazy cool kitchen and an Italian tile roof in a fairly ritzy neighborhood because it had no laundry chute. "It has an upstairs and a basement Mom, but there's no laundry chute. We can't live here," she said on her way out the door.
Alison and the Ogdens have been friends for almost as long as she's been friends with Jenna. Ali and Alex and Jenna were in pre-school together. In a legendary argument, Jenna and Alex were arguing over who was Alison's best friend.
"Oh yeah?" Jenna said. "Well I will ALWAYS be her FIRST friend!"
Ali, Hannah and Alex are playing the game of Life downstairs, a continuation of the process that began last night. After snuggling a bit with me, they decided they needed some alone time downstairs.
I went down to bring them breakfast and was informed by Hannah that Alex just lost his job. "And he was a DOCTOR. $100,000 a year. And he LOST his JOB!!!"
"Dude, he's RIGHT HERE!" Alison said, trying to assuage Alex's hurt feelings...
I left them to their gamesmanship and returned to my post from which I'm shamelessly eavesdropping. I'm starting to think that maybe I do need an extra day off after all. They don't really need to go back to school, do they?