Today I found myself the host of no less than five of those small people commonly referred to as children. Mark, the big softy, agreed to look after the neighbour’s three kids plus two extra that came with the package when the mother rang our doorbell to beg for help.

face-paint-childrenEver the gentleman, Mark of course immediately accepted the challenge to look after the six to eight year olds, and in quick order there were five of the creatures in my kitchen, and they were making cookies. There are now little floury hand-prints all over the house. The noise level was amazing, and Mark’s noise level rose to match the situation.

And of course, this kind of excitement hasn’t happened in the dogs’ lives for ages, so they threw themselves into the new game with gusto. I think at one point Watson happily had three of the kids chasing him, or throwing balls for him to run after. The cat, however, is still quite anti-social and retreated to his basket in the brewery room downstairs while the invaders remained.

Mark has always said that he wants kids, and it is one of the recurring topics when we lie in bed before sleep and talk about the day. And so, today, after the group of five little loud monsters had gone home, it came up again. It is one of those discussions that sort of go on by rote. You know what I mean? I suppose every couple has those kinds of conversations, or themes to the conversations. There is a general agreement of some sort about something but which is picked up again and again at random interval to sound off if something has changed.

I can’t say it has, and at some point in the future, I think I’d like to have one kid. But while my wishful thinking is low-key and not particularly involved, I think Mark’s desire is that much stronger. I think he really wants to have kids. Yes he’s said that, but there’s a difference between hearing the words, and seeing the desire in action.

When watching him in the kitchen with the little clutch of flour-stained faces turned up toward him as they baked cookies together, he looked almost like he looks when he’s with some injured animal. It’s so intense, and he really wants to be there, and I think that this want goes much deeper than what I had previously thought.