Our great-nephew Forest came to visit this afternoon. It is always a treat to have visitors and Forest is one of our favorites.
I was straightening the den a bit and heard the kitchen door open. So, I stuck my head around the corner and there was Forest, our eight-year-old great-nephew. He was stepping out of his boots and stashing his mail on the kitchen table. He let me know that he needed to use the bathroom and dashed around the corner for a bit. Then, he plopped down in Mike's recliner, unwrapped a Hershey's Kiss, popped it into his mouth and we began chatting and catching up on all the news that is news here on the family 'compound.' (No, we are not like the Kennedy's that I can tell except that there are lots of us and we get a little rowdy when we all gather together. I'm still hoping the wealth and riches will show up but, so far, it's not happening that I can tell.) I learned that school is going okay, Dad and Jayme are fine, his mother is recovering well after her C-section, Grandma is helping out but not really spoiling him, and the babies don't do much but sleep. They have had lots of visitors to come hold the babies but most of them bring food. So, that is alright. When asked what kinds of food they are getting, he informed me that there were brownies, cookies, a cake and also some turnip greens. The mention of the turnip greens didn't sound like it was embraced quite in the same manner as the brownies, cookies, and cake, though.
I had the afternoon TV news on and we discussed a headline or two and then Forest asked if he could change the channel. So, I got me a book and he watched some sort of kid's programming and grazed from the nearby candy bowl and I read a bit. After a few minutes he asked if he could just spend the night. Since he is in second grade, I knew I was way too out of practice to get a little fellow like him ready in the morning and told him that maybe he should wait till it wasn't a school night.
After a bit, I realized that his mother and father might not know that their little Huck Finn had wandered over here. So, I shot them off a text message and told them that I'd bring him home in a while. I gave him warning that he had fifteen or twenty minutes and then I'd have to take him home - knowing that I'd need to get him there around supper time before his dad got finished up with barn chores. He was agreeable and stepped back into his boots after about ten or fifteen minutes, gathered up his mail, and we trekked out the door.
I pulled up to the barn to let Mike know that I was going to take Forest home and of course, they also had to have a little time to catch up on the news. Forest also informed Mike that he had brought over a couple of bags of cans for him to take to the recycling center. So, after we loaded back into the truck, I slowed down and asked if he wanted me to get his wagon and put it in the back of the truck to take home. "Naw, I'll just come back tomorrow and get it," he informed me. So, we breezed on back to his house.
When we got to his house, his older brother, Jayme, offered me some sort of gummy, wormy looking candy which I declined. However, Forest wanted some and was going to open another box after Jayme did not agree to share. Suddenly, Forest's mother, Jessica, took the unopened box away from him and reminded him firmly that he knew he wasn't to be eating the candy and didn't need to open the new box. I quietly told her that she had the right idea because he probably didn't need more candy. (I didn't let her know that he had probably eaten about half a bag of Hershey's Kisses, though.) She rolled her eyes and sort of gave Forest 'the look' that all mothers have which their children recognize.
In a few minutes, Jessica asked me how long he had been visiting at our house because she thought he was at the barn with his dad. I said probably about an hour because we had watched a couple of those after school kid's programs on TV. She again rolled her eyes and Forest got 'the look.' Then, I overheard her and Forest's visiting Grandma talk about how he was grounded for some sort of misbehavior and wasn't supposed to watch afternoon TV. Jessica chuckled and told me that she thought I must have been part of The Plan this afternoon.
I guess Forest knew who the soft touch is and sort of took advantage of Mike and me. I didn't mention that he probably had me in The Plan for tomorrow as well since the wagon was left at our house. I also didn't mention that he wanted to spend the night. I just said that everybody needs a Safe House and I am glad that ours feels like that to Forest. Jessica informed me that she would expect no less when her turn came to hide out at the Safe House!
So, I guess I could be expecting to have more visitors in the future. That is okay. Mike and I enjoy company. Of course, I will always wonder now if I am harboring a criminal!