It's our goal to be a normal family. We try to be a normal family. I think it's even possible for us to be a normal family. But when things don't go as planned, our efforts at normalcy fall by the wayside, and it causes a domino effect.
We went to see a live production of 'Annie' in the park Friday night. (I've been sworn to secrecy about sharing all the details of that experience, due to the public nature of this blog, so please forgive me.)
On the way to the park there was a little encounter with a guy driving a tree trimming truck. He was sitting in the middle of his lane and we were at a standstill. I made a gesture to him. Not the finger, but more of a questioning shrug. He didn't like that and started screaming toward my closed window. Suddenly my window lowered and I looked over at my husband who was pushing the button and he said, "Get him, babe. I got yer back." (Have I mentioned how much I love that man?) I choose to believe that I overwhelmed that driver with my witty snark and I'm relieved that my husband never had to 'get my back' during the exchange. (He's had to save my butt before.) But as we drove away, Z calmly said, "None of that was necessary" and I had no argument. (Unexpected words of maturity from a teenage boy are annoying.)
When the show began I was sitting on the edge of my lawn chair, giddy with excitement and anticipation of loudly singing along. But I was immediately distracted. There were two women standing up on the stage who were interpreting the show in Sign Language. Let me say right now that Sign Language in itself is not distracting and I'm a huge supporter of what they do. One of the women was perfectly normal as she did her job. And please allow me to clarify what their job is. It is NOT to play the part. It is to interpret what the person playing the part is saying. I wish someone had told the other interpreter that, because from the looks of things, she was convinced she was actually playing the role of Miss Hannigan.....and Mr. Warbucks....and several orphans. I tried desperately to pay attention to the musical, but to be perfectly honest, it wasn't that great. Maybe I had my hopes built up too high or maybe it was Z leaning over asking when it was going to 'get good' and I had no answer for him. But when the distracting interpreter caught the bored eyes of my husband and Z, and they began entertaining themselves (and others) with imitations, I knew I'd lost them and at intermission I whispered, "Now's our chance" and we gathered up our chairs and headed out. Our family obviously isn't cut out for live musicals....or dramatic interpreters.
Next stop; Schulers bakery for Fathers Day donuts. For those who don't know what Schulers is, there are no words to describe it. For those who are familiar with Schulers, enough said. It's the best bakery in the worst part of town. (At least the worst part I've ever experienced.) It was decided beforehand that we would leave with twelve donuts. But we no sooner crossed through the entrance and my husband was begging for one to eat on the ride home, in addition to the two he was getting for Fathers Day. He got that look on his face, started rubbing my back, and repeatedly saying, "You know you want to" and I had flashbacks of our fourth date....and I caved. (On the donuts.) One by one each of my family members told the employee which two donuts they wanted in our box and which one they wanted in their hand and we quickly headed out to the van, trying to avoid being shot at, while holding our fresh donuts and a large white box with blue writing. (The sight of that box alone can make my mouth water immediately.) Mission accomplished and homeward bound.
We passed our neighbor's pitch black house. We didn't notice. We pulled into the driveway of our pitch black house. We didn't notice. We sat in our van and pushed the garage door opener a couple hundred times while pointing the remote closer and closer to the windshield and cursing dead batteries without once suspecting something was amiss. K offered to get out and push the keypad on the garage door even though it was drizzling rain and occasionally lightning. We let her. When that wasn't working we assumed she forgot the code and began yelling out the numbers until she finally gave up and yet still nothing occurred to us. We all got out of the van and took turns with the keypad and finally Z said, "Do you think our electricity is out?" (That makes two smart things he said in a six hour time frame. By our standard, I think that qualifies him as our new leader.) My husband hoisted Z onto his shoulders to unlatch our gate and despite the risk of stepping on baby kittens, we voted daddy the lucky one to make his way through the completely dark and cluttered garage to let us in. We heard him 'find' my mop bucket shortly into his journey and the kids got to hear what daddy says when he's mad. We finally made it into the dark house.
A Massage Therapist is never short on candles. We filled our bedroom with them and chaos ensued when C began making her way around the room blowing them out as we lit them. There we sat around our candle lit room with no Wii golf, no Facebook, no tv, and nothing but idle conversation with each other. The topic of the Amish came up. How could it not? A shared that she would like to be Amish. Z informed her that she couldn't have an Ipod. A changed her mind. C began listing television shows she'd like to watch one by one until we put a stop to that. When we heard the train behind our house I wondered aloud how the train was able to run with no electricity. My husband sighed dramatically and banned all talking. (Add 'idle conversation' to the list of things our family doesn't handle well.) The mention of sleep was followed by the moans of children accustomed to sleeping with the background noise of box fans and therefore can't sleep in silence anymore. We were in for a long night.
Two hours later in the deafening silence, just before I drifted off to sleep, something occurred to me. I woke my husband up and said, "Hey. Don't we have a generator in the garage?" and for the second time in one night, the kids got to hear that word that daddy says when he gets mad.....