This is the seventh night in a hotel, which means that this is the seventh night of Jane and Alexander having no playmates but each other other and sharing a room most nights.
One of the things I’m quite certain I got wrong was not having the kids share a room. I know that at this age they’d have to be split up already. If I could go back in time there isn’t a ton of parenting I’d like to change but this is a big one. I’d have taken my boy and my girl and I’d have put them in the same room until they asked for their own. I wouldn’t care if I had three bedrooms of thirteen.
On this vacation (like so many others we’ve taken) we all take turns running around with Alexander. Jane and Mr. G play football with him in the park, then Jane sits and reads a book while Mr. G and Alexander throw a baseball for eightybazillion hours. I rest under a tree or check out San Francisco’s Dahlia Garden, and then we buy some street food and head over to Union Square.
Jane and Mr. G are exhausted so I drag Alexander around for three more hours and wait for him to fade. It doesn’t happen quickly, but he does get a little tired of motion.
As Jane approaches thirteen she has left Alexander a bit. It used to be two kids and two adults trying to find activities, and now it’s sometimes three of us wanting to do something and then Jane is sent like a scout to convince Alexander to go along with it. She’s neither fish nor foul, certainly not an adult, certainly not a child (in her own eyes at least).
Jane and Alexander don’t seem to fight and bicker on vacation. In fact they enjoy each other more than ever, for this and this alone I’d pack up everything and become a nomad. The two people I love most in the world loving each other makes my heart swell and my eyes water.
He asks a lot of questions and he remembers the answers. Alexander is a smart little boy, sponge-like in his need to gather information. Unlike a sponge he is never full, and everything seems to be retained. At night when we put the kids to bed and over the whispers and giggles the constant that we hear is Alexander querying Jane. Her name is always part of a question, Jane? Can you… Do you… Would you…? And she dispenses information that may or may not be correct, but delights her brother. From the foyer that connects the rooms Mr. G and I eavesdrop and delight in our children. Both of them, for very different reasons.
I wish I could go back in time and give him many more years of rickety data and a shared bedroom.