One evening, when my girls were about four years old, we were playing in the office under a huge pile of sheets and comforters, waiting to be put into the wash after a visit from some relatives. Sheets can be oddly magical portals, and somewhere in the pile of wrinkles and pillows, a couple new people came to visit.
That’s Gary on the right. He’s a bit shy, and seems a bit slow talking at times, but he has a heart of gold. He gives good hugs and is always asking about how the girls’ are doing and what they’re learning and wants to learn a few things himself. RassaSassafratz is on the left. About him. Well, we’ll just say that with a name like RassaSassafratz, you can imagine that there is a lot of craziness to ensue. Fortunately, as brothers, they help balance each other out really well.
The girls fell in love with them right away. I think they got a kick out of teaching somebody else about something (RassaSassafratz was still learning his numbers) and they all worked on projects together. These guys have an uncanny knack for working well with legos. The duo even read some bedtime stories to the girls, and the girls helped them learn some words too! Lots of adventures every week were happening. The only hard part is when Haylee wanted to take Gary in one room and Rylee wanted to take RassaSassafratz into another. The brothers only have a limited amount of freedom, so we had to improvise a little.
We also discovered, thanks to Haylee, that the boys have a sister, Isabella. She’s younger, but often seems to have a cooler head on her shoulders and helps keep the brothers in place when they get a little out of hand. She’s shown up on a few occasions when the boys aren’t around, which is exciting.
Eventually the boys went away for a bit, but they always came back and were greeted with hugs and stories, and fun all over again. The girls have asked about Gary and RassaSassafratz, if they could come back, and usually within a few days they make it back from their travels. Even more touching was the day Rylee came up to me in the kitchen and says “Dad, can you talk to Gary and RassaSassafratz about coming over? I know they’re your hands, but I’ll still pretend for Haylee.” I’ve had a similar conversation on the other side.
Last week my girls turned 9. The day before their birthday Gary and RassaSassafratz paid a visit right before bed. It was just like old times once again and Isabella even popped in for a quick hello. I forget exactly why these guys came in the first place, but I’m glad they are still welcome to visit, even as the girls get older. I hope when they have kids that they’ll still be able to come by and visit them. I bet Isabella will make a visit and I hope some new friends will be by too.