It had been a long day of exploration and discovery before we even started the adventure of staying in my Aunt Jill and Uncle Dean’s guest house. The kids were dizzy with visions of Thomas Edison’s workshop exploding their minds, sugary sticks of rock candy swirling in their bellies, the whistle and rollick of steam engines rattling around in their ears, their first ride on a motor boat still shaking around in their bones, all the exhausting and delicious joys that make a child’s vacation so perfect and make parents’ joints creak and groan as they unfold themselves into bed at night.
I had laid the girls in a bed down the hall just ten minutes ago, and was finally deflating myself with a long sigh, when I heard them talking loudly in the bathroom.
I rolled my eyes in the dark and swung my legs back over the side of the bed with a whimper. I quietly stepped into the hall and watched my girls through a crack in the door. They had several Dixie cups arranged on the counter and were filling more in the sink as I watched.
I pushed the door open and they looked up at me with wide tired eyes, frozen in place, water still running.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
They looked at each other, then back at me. Finally Lydia spoke, “We found teacups in the bathroom and the sink makes hot water.”
We slowly blinked at each other.
She continued, “So… We are having a tea party.” She held up a Dixie Cup full of hot water. “You should try it. It tastes just like tea.”
More blinking. “No,” I shook my head, at the ‘tea’, at the girls, at the world. “No. Thank you.” I took a deep tired breath, “I can’t yell at you for this, but can you please just go to bed now?”
They ran out of the room without another word, only returning a few seconds later to grab a Dixie cup off the counter. “Night Dad!”
“Night girls…” I said, drifting back towards my own bed room.
Adventure never sleeps, but I would at least like for it to take a nap every now and then.