Kate and Eric waved from the driveway as Henry and Josie left the next morning. It had been a short but lovely visit. When they had gotten home last night, they recounted the tale of the trip to Andy, Zach and Anne. Everyone laughed about Eric peeing on the cowboy’s leg.
Henry and Josie took Andy’s offer of a bed for the night and Kate had giggled when Josie asked later for the aloe lotion. Henry’s sunburn was more tender than he cared to admit in public. Jamie of course had been disappointed when there were no extra dogs in the morning for Luna and Gretchen to play with. Henry promised that he’d bring them back next time they came to visit.
Kate and Eric went back into the house and started to look around to see what needed done for the day. The repairs to the house were adequate enough for the time being. Kate still needed new curtains for the doors in the dining room, but that would have to wait for one of their out of town shopping trips. Mark and Jamie were finished with their homework, so they all decided to go out to the park for some family time.
Everyone had been very careful to not let the children know what happened at the house. While the work was being done, Pat and Tammy kept them out in Levette. The only explanation they got was that Kate wanted new doors and her house cleaned up. Luckily, Mark and Jamie were young enough for this to work.
At the park, Kate and Eric sat while the children played in the tall grass. After a few moments, Kate realized exactly what Jamie was doing. “Look, Jamie is stalking Mark,” she whispered in Eric’s ear.
Eric turned and watched the two of them for a moment. Sure enough, Jamie was down in the grass on all fours while Mark wandered from plant to plant picking up bugs or something. Jamie zigzagged behind him and then pounced.
“Gotcha!” she hollered.
“Stop it!” Mark yelled.
“But I gotta hunt you Mark. You’re a rabbit and I’m a wolf!” she said, with her hands on her hips.
Eric clapped his hand over his mouth trying not to laugh. Kate couldn’t help but giggle. Both of them gave up and fell about laughing.
Jamie came over to her dad and with hands on hips. “Daddy, you gotta tell Mark to let me hunt him.”
Eric smiled. “Okay. Now, let’s do it this way.” Eric waited until Mark had gone back to gathering bugs and then started to crouch low in the grass. Jamie matched his every move, a tiny shadow to his big one. Eric stopped a time or two and gave her pointers. She followed his directions and then Eric moved aside and let her finish the hunt. A moment or so later, Jamie was wiggling her butt back and forth in anticipation of pouncing on Mark. She pounced and brought him down flat on the ground. Sitting on his back, she raised both hands in victory.
Eric and Kate cheered. “I think Henry is right you know.”
“I agree. I think we aught to buy an ice cream for Mark for being such a good rabbit too.”
“Yes, although, we can do it when he gets done trying to run Jamie down for dropping him so well.” Kate watched Mark trying to catch Jamie. The moment Jamie had gotten up off of his back, Mark had run after her in hopes of pummeling her for treating him like a rabbit. He was woefully slow in comparison with no hope of catching her.
They finally got the children back in the car and into town for an ice cream. Jamie wanted rabbit flavored ice cream, but settled for strawberry. Mark had chocolate. Both of them reminded Kate and Eric that the Spring program was next week. It fell on the same day as Ostara. Kate had to get into town to buy candy and egg dye. It had been years since she had done so. Jon had outgrown egg dying at about ten.
After Spring Break, there was the honor awards and then 8th grade graduation. The time was just flying past. Jamie also reminded Eric that they had summer school this year.
“What is so special about summer school Kate?” Eric was still finding the children’s school a surprise with all of it’s family style activities.
“It’s half a day of school with all kinds of nature walks, special projects and a big hike up into the mountains. My boys all loved it. In fact, they wanted the whole year to be like that. For me, it’s a chance to run away to the mountains for the morning. It just isn’t worth the gas to run back and forth.”
“Ah, and do I ever get to go up with you?”
“It depends on whether your boss will let you off for the morning. It’s a month long and every day, just like school.” Kate could see Eric trying to figure out how to wrangle the time off. She had already discussed it with Suzanne and had cleared her time.
“I guess I’ll have to see what I can do.” Eric made a note to ask his boss for the time off.
Kate got the kids through the shower and into bed. The alarm would be ringing way to early, but she knew that everyone needed to get back into a routine. Especially herself. She was still having trouble sleeping if Eric wasn’t in bed. She knew he’d had his share of nightmares as well. It would just take time to heal.