I know it’s Thanksgiving Day and I am supposed to be writing a very moving, but not at all trite, prayery/blessingish post regarding my whole-hearted gratefulness for all of the things.
That gratefulness is a part of me and I think it runs through my writing the way it runs through my veins, despite the sarcasm shield, which can be cloudy if not opaque at times. So, I’ll leave that alone today and give you cracks in my sanity. For the record, I wrote this on Tuesday night, well before the twenty-four hour period of mandatory thankfulness began.
Tuesday, 7:15 a.m. Alarm rings. It’s been pouring rain for three days. Check window – still pouring rain.
Stacey: Time to get dressed! Long pants and long sleeves, please.
Stacey: All horrific, dreadful winter long. And listen, (PREP #1) there’s that huge puddle/lake/drainage issue thing beside the van in the driveway and when we leave today, I want you to stay out of it.
Them: Is it Thanksgiving?
Stacey: No, it’s Tuesday, Thanksgiving is on Thursday.
Them: Can we watch TV?
Stacey: Before dinner, like every single day in the history of eternity.
Stacey: Bowls in the sink. No throwing bowls, no frisbee bowls, no ninja chucking star bowls. Just place.the.bowls.nicely.in.the.sink. No splash. Wipe your mouths. And listen, (PREP #2) we’ll get our boots on in about 45 minutes and when you go to the van leave that puddle ALONE.
Them: Can we watch TV?
Stacey: No, like every single school morning. No.
8:10: Initial packing phase.
Stacey: Okay, lunches and homework in your bags, please. Don’t forget your sneakers so you can change out of your boots. Check for your water bottles. And LISTEN. Stop. Listen. (Prep #3). When you get outside, stay out of the huge puddle next to the van. It’s deep, it will go over your boots and I will not change anyone’s clothes, I don’t care how wet you are, does everyone understand this?
Them: Yes. Can we watch TV?
8:25 p.m. Final pre-departure packing.
Stacey: Time to go! Boots, please, not shoes. Shoes should be in your bags. Winter coats or sweaters and rain coats.
Them: Why can’t we have umbrellas?
Stacey: Because, as we have all learned, if it looks like a weapon and can be used as a weapon, it is a weapon.
Them: Can we watch TV?
Stacey: NO! Boots!! Coats!! VAN. NOW. And put your buckles on. AND, (Prep #4) STAY OUT OF THAT DAMN PUDDLE.
8:35 Five minutes from red-alert late status.
Stacey: Shit, the dog, I have to catch the dog. Get your boots on.
Them: I can’t find my other boot. I want my [insert lost thing here.] [Indiscriminate pleasure whining.] [Fabricated catastrophe.]
Stacey: Here’s your boot. Good job. Shit, Quinn needs chicken broth for his feast. Shit, I forgot to print a paper I need. I’ll be right there, I’m going to tie up the dog and grab the broth. Get in your buckles… no fighting! (Crucial, possibly fatal, omission of PREP #5).
8:42 We’re okay, but pushing it if they are in the van … rounding corner of van … and …
(For the record, the “f” words in the following diatribe were in my head. Mostly. I admit to nothing.)
MOTHER*(*#$*#@. What are you doing? GET OUT OF THE PUDDLE!!! ARE YOU INSANE? ARE YOU DEAF? Yeah, oh? Are your pants wet? And your socks? How sad for you, how cold and pathetic you’ll be at school. Look at how I love and fucking logic your dumb little asses into the car. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I asked you like EIGHT TIMES to stay out of that puddle. LAKE. ARRGGGG. Get in your seats before I take away your Christmas presents. Anyone who cries about wet pants, I’ll take NEXT YEAR’S Christmas presents. Your grandchildren won’t see Santa until they’re ten I swear to GOD.
8:49 Backing out of the driveway.
Saige: My-y-y-y-y-y-y-y pants are weeeeeeeeeetttttttttt!
Nate: Here momma! (fling.) Here momma! (fling.) There momma! My wet socks for you!
Quinn: Is it Thanksgiving today?
Garrett: After school, can we watch TV?
Stacey: (Bangs head on dashboard and drools.)
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of fun and family and gratefulness and a minimum of madness. I am grateful for you and this community of writers that I treasure. I’m also grateful for them, in large part, and the other parts are easily overlooked.
For a table that sits fourteen (barely!) and the people I love to sit around it.
And finally, I’m grateful that I was successfully able to hide the Oreos from Matt because the kids made really cute Oreo turkeys. Yes, it has like eighteen eyes. It’s a spider-Oreo-turkey. That’s possibly been exposed to radiation. I was trying to be less control-freaky. (Amy and Elise are laughing at me right now.)