Living a few doors down from the Octamom clan is an opportunity to traffic in intestinal fortitude.
It's not just the 15 passenger van parked in front of the house. It's not just the multi-population of soccer balls decorating the front yard. It's not just the cardboard castles designed, taped and sagging in the front flower bed.
It's probably just the generalized chaos, particularly if you are someone who actually believes in clean base boards and knows if your kids are missing a pair of shoes.
These items are not things that would even grace my radar screen.
But for my fearless neighbor, JT, being the Octamom long-suffering neighbor is a daily marathon of watching the chaos and craziness from the coziness of her perfectly appointed home. She is a brave, brave soul.
She puts aside her natural strengths and preferences for order and cleanliness and braves the laundry piles and shoe population right inside my front door, just to tell me hi or to invite the kids to come play. She surveys all the mayhem in cheerful disbelief and pretends to not be too scandalized.
You gotta love that.
So since I owe her such a debt, I jumped at the opportunity to give back a little, to try to in some way to pay her back for her support and love and lowering of standards. We set up a little impromptu photo studio in the natural light of my master bath and clicked a few shutter stops:
Yep, darn cute. These fine young Americans are 5 and 6 of 8's best buddies, CT and AT, and are JT's darling kids. We got a few pictures for the Christmas card and the grandparents.
But even after taking the pictures, even after bringing down a few baked goodies, I still felt indebted to the long-suffering JT. How could I ever repay her for her tolerance, her patience, her willingness to ignore her own need for peace and order and enter the chaotic world just three doors down? How could I ever make it even?
And then it happened.
She called while we were on the road, pounding the miles to get to our Oklahoma Christmas Family Celebration Extravaganza. My cell phone rang...and JT uttered these magic words, the words that made every thing even again, the words that rendered the friendship balance sheet back to equitable.
And those words were...
"I just got back from the pediatrician. CT and AT have strep...I think we've infected your family."
Ah...the inequities have been reconciled. The friendship ledger is now balanced.
I think I'm good to call the debt resolved...
*I'm also thrilled to announce the 5 winners of the Scrapblog Giveaway:
Angie of Nanna Days
Rachael of Little Bites of Heaven
Brandi of Lolo's Blog
Tracy in NC
Congrats to all the winners and many thanks to all of you who entered. Winners, please email me at email@example.com for instructions on how to create and print your very own Scrapblog Calendar!