We had to run out after dinner which meant my children left looking somewhat like circus clowns. Which is a bit insulting to the style sense of clowns. Honestly, that they are so uninhibited and confident in their appearance is enviable. It was a lovely evening and they rallied to have clothes on at all, frankly. Once home after school they mostly prefer to be "in their tummies" but this was a critical mission in public so clothes were required. With a broken dryer, we've relied on the laundromat up the street to fluff and fold (I'm very sure that's not what the British would say...) mountains (and countless pounds) of clothes until John Lewis mercifully makes a new one appear in our flat. And a handyman comes to install it. We're a week in with no end in sight. Things move slower here. You adapt.
So, back to esprit de clothing. Here is what my smalls were wearing in Central London tonight:
Biggest Brother: waffle tee shirt, guardsman pajama bottoms, roller blades, helmet
Big Brother: very normal. Bless him. Someone had to be. Fleece, fatigue pants, "trainers"
Big Sister: frog pajamas, polka dot jacket, blue bow, 2 purses, yellow puddle stomper boots
Baby Sister: Big Sister's swimsuit coverup, winter coat, purple feather topped play high heels from her secret cousin
Out the front door they bounded, creating an impromptu parade. Big Brother scootered ahead up the hill, Biggest Brother followed somewhat tentatively on his roller blades, Big Sister swinging her purses next and Baby Sister marching in her heels bringing up the rear. Like caged animals released to the wild or students in the movies on the last day of school. They've never been more gleeful than to escape our flat tonight into the springlike darkness.
They didn't see the humor in their wardrobes but they tickled more than a few people. Including me. Most folks wanted to comment on Baby Sister and her amazing grace in heels. She had quite a strut going and I'm fairly sure people heard her coming and mistook it for horses. (Which is a thrilling everyday occurrence on our street.)
Our laundromat is 2 doors down from our beloved pub. The kids are very at home in our neighborhood so they stopped to see the pub proprietress while I picked up sacks upon sacks of our clothes. Suzy is a lovely young Spanish woman who lives above the pub, runs it like her home, and is adored by our smalls. Us, too. Walking back, I looked through the window and saw the four of them holding court literally in the middle of the pub chatting with Suzy and room full of patrons. Helmet, swimsuit coverup, pajamas, feathered heels and all.
When I told Big Sister (who celebrated turning 5 at the pub) that I'd waved to Suzy through the windows a few times this week she said, "Did you tell her I love her?" Of course, I reported that to Suzy tonight.
So if you are living in another country, four small circus clowns drop by your home and workplace to visit, and one of them professes her love to you, you will adore everything about those clowns. Including their costumes. And I will see them through your smiling eyes.