Trading houses with family, hot dog buns and magic faucets

Like many of you, we got together with family last weekend. At one point in the day, we had nine cousins lying in one backyard hammock.

These are some of the conversations that were overheard and interpreted during the day:

“Why do we keep trading houses?” asked 3-year-old triplet Faith.

For a brief second, I started to explain to my niece that I didn’t understand her question since we’ve lived in the same house for nearly 25 years. Then it occurred to me that through Faith’s 3-year-old eyes, when we take turns hosting family get-togethers, we were all at my sister Debbie’s a few weeks ago for a cookout before our college kids returned to school, just like we’ve been to Chris and Amanda’s and Uncle Kevin’s for family parties lately — it looks like we’re trading houses.

“Aunt Janet, can I please have a hot dog bun?”

“Of course you can Isaac,” I responded as we stood in my kitchen next to the grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and bratwurst.

“It’s the last hot dog bun,” 6-year-old Isaac added sadly, verifying that I knew the significance and giving me a chance to recant my “yes.”

“We have plenty of hamburger buns, take it — would you like a hot dog in it?”

“No thank you,” he smiled as he bit into the bun and bolted out the back door — where I immediately heard my younger brother Chris (and Isaac’s dad) say: “Isaac, isn’t that the third plain hot dog bun in a row you’ve eaten?”

After helping my niece Reese get out of her wet bathing suit in our restroom, I placed the wooden stool next to the sink so she could wash her hands, when she asked: “Do you have a magic faucet?”

After thoughtfully racking my brain to interpret her question, I replied with a probing query: “Do you have a magic faucet?”

Her 3-year-old, matter-of fact response was “No.” And after a few seconds she added, “We have to turn them on ourselves.”

It was a mere nanosecond that I realized that magic faucets equal automatic faucets and I answered, “We don’t have magic faucets either. We have to turn them on ourselves, too.”

The next day as we ate leftover bratwurst and hot dogs on hamburger buns, I thought about the magic and simplicity of hot dog buns, faucets and trading houses with family.