We stayed with one of Joe's cousins while in Houston. His cousin's name is also Joe, because despite approximately 19 male cousins (this is not an exaggeration - think large Irish Catholic family), there are only about five acceptable names. This leads to a lot of overlap and so they must find ways to distinguish between people, especially for the kids.
Apparently in this case, Joe's cousin decided to introduce my Joe (see, it's confusing already!) by both his first and last name. The six-year-old boy caught onto that immediately. "Hi, JoeJohnston, my name's JimMurphy." And for the rest of the weekend, and forevermore, I have decided I will always call my husband JoeJohnston. It's all one word, sort of like when Phil on "Amazing Race" talks about "aracearoundtheworld." Are you leaving today, JoeJohnston? Can I sit by you, JoeJohnston? Goodbye, JoeJohnston! Listen to me count to one hundred, JoeJohnston, without even getting tired! I think JoeJohnston is at the door!
Little JimMurphy is a bit on the wild side. He's the child we will remember for singing "Crazy Train" at the top of his lungs during breakfast. He's also the child that literally set fire to their house by playing with matches. (This was before we visited - nobody was injured but there was a lot of damage.) I mean, you always hear about kids starting fires by playing with matches but have you ever actually known of a case where that happened? Because after meeting JimMurphy, suddenly it seems VERY plausible. And it was also fitting that JimMurphy became so possessive of JoeJohnston, since JoeJohnston himself has done community service at the fire station for an incident involving bottle rockets and a dry field.
But JimMurphy is a good kid. He comes with a twin sister who claimed me as HER Cate. Twins, I can't escape them. It's always reassuring to me when youngsters seem to like me. I'm just not sure if it's reassuring that I might some day be good with a kid of my own or if it's just reassuring me that I'm right in thinking most children have very bad judgment. Either way, the whole herd of kids was a blast to be around the entire weekend and a lot of our best memories from Houston will be associated with the 12 and under crowd.
And, by the way, I am CateJoeJohnston. Pleased to meet you.