Day 277: Sleepover with Kaleb & Ashley’s Chili

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Today has been spent with my sister Debbie and niece Ashley and her family. Weeks ago I promised Ashley’s small son, Kaleb, age 3, that I would visit soon and spend the night, sleeping in his room. This weekend, I was able to fulfill that promise.

As I drove toward Broken Arrow, OK my sister told me Kaleb was watching for me. That made me smile. This little boy, with the old soul, and I have a strong connection. I love all the children in my family. Grandkids, great nieces and great nephews, they are all precious children to me, full of promise and enthusiasm for life. My oldest grandchild, Dayan, and I spent many a late night when he was young giggling and whispering stories back and forth during sleepovers. I look forward to creating such memories with each of the younger members of the family.

Kaleb helped me carry in my overnight bag, pillows and sleeping bag, anxious to settle me into his room. He’s asked me several times today if I’m really sleeping in his room. I’ve got my sleeping bag rolled out next to his toddler bed. That seemed to reassure him.

We spent the day running errands with his mom and Meem, the kids name for Debbie. I got to see the new house my nephew Scott and his wife Nicole just purchased and moved into. They joined us back at Ashley and Jon’s house for dinner, bringing their adorable son Weston to join in the fun. It was a party now!

Ashley fed us her amazing chili with sides of cornbread and Fritos. Flavorful and spicy, the chili was a first for me as well as it was made of venison, pork and beef. I’ve never had chili with deer meat in it before! The rich sauce also contained tomatoes, garlic, a jalapeño from Ashley’s garden and a surprise ingredient, mushrooms. What a delicious treat.

After dinner I enjoyed reading books to Weston and Kaleb, who got himself ready for bed. Kaleb’s older brother, Ethan, joined us and asked me space and constellation trivia questions. The boys were playful, fun and active, the last burst of energy before settling down for the night.

Weston left with his parents. Ethan had a bedtime snack and headed to his room. Kaleb and I tucked ourselves in. He held my hand and we whispered in the dark. He asked one last time if I was really spending the whole night. I assured him I was. His eyes closed and just as I thought he had drifted off to sleep he stirred and raised up, peering at me in the semi darkness of his room. “I want to go with you to that castle,” he murmured drowsily and then he settled down with a sigh and sleep overtook him. I continued to hold his hand and whispered blessings over him and wished him a great night’s sleep. Earlier in the evening, Kaleb was playing with my iPhone and asked about the “big house” pictures that he saw. I told him a wee bit about Scotland and the castle. He listened attentively. And now he wanted to go. I smiled in the dark. Of course I’d love to take him, along with any of the children in the family who would enjoy going. I’ll join Kaleb in sleep soon. Perhaps we will both dream of castles and Scotland.

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