It rained today.
“Hey, Mom, do you remember LAST year right before the Pig Roast when it rained and . . . “
I remember. On Sunday before the big event I was going through my list in my head . . . Tuesday & Wednesday final prep on the house and errands, Thursday in-laws arrive (15 for dinner), Friday put the pig on the coals & set up tents in the back yard, Saturday 100 or so guests. I think I have everything . . . .
“Honey, my sister called,” my husband’s voice pulls me out of my thoughts. “She’s in a bind for a work event. She wants to drop her three kids off here on Tuesday morning and then she’ll be back late Wednesday night.” (My sisters-in-law are immensely helpful in putting together the party).
“Is that a problem? I would normally help you out, but this week is going to be busy since I’m taking Friday off.”
“Uh, well, it wasn’t really in my plan and all, but I guess we can work that in,” I replied lamely. Let’s see . . . six kids ages 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, and 7 months, big party coming up.
“You guys will have all day Thursday to get anything done.”
I decided that as soon as they walked in the door Tuesday morning, the fun would begin. We would take pictures of everything. My 8-yr-old niece would be in charge of scrap-booking it before her mom returned (I don’t scrapbook). We had 48 hours.
We went to the zoo, had ice cream, played, cleaned the house, ran a few errands. That was the first day. The next day we had to get busy.
By the next day, it had become a bit of a lark walking into stores with six children. Their ages were perfect – everyone just assumed they had to be all mine. They had paired up and figured out a system and were so incredibly giggly and happy everywhere we went that the man at the meat market gave them all free samples even though they were running around with the carts (oh, and we bought over 40 lbs of brisket and would be back for the pig on Friday). We went to Walmart. We went piñata shopping.
“How much candy do we need Aunt E?”
“Oh, my, lots I think. No, no, get the bigger one, we don’t want to run out.” I spent a little extra on candy that day, but it was worth the entertainment. “Didn’t I tell you to get the BIG one?”
When I went to get the wardrobe boxes for the smoker lid (yes, this is a fancy operation) it began to rain. Think about this: six kids in a minivan with enough food for a huge party, two piñatas, candy and paper goods from Walmart. Where would you put two flattened wardrobe boxes?
It started to rain harder.
I tried to push it in the back. I ran around to one side and then the other. The kids were in complete hysterics. I wasn’t sure if it was just the rain in my face or if I was laughing so hard I was starting to cry.
Finally, with one big push, I shoved the boxes between the front row of seats and the second row, right behind the driver’s seat. The laughter now was a complete uproar. I jumped into my seat, looked in my rearview mirror and saw . . . box.
“Hey, where did everybody go???” More laughter.
By the time we got home and unloaded the car, everyone was pretty soaked. I needed to start dinner to feed this tribe. The kids had been in the car awhile and were ready to run around. It was raining harder now.
“What should we do, Aunt E?”
“I don’t know, you are already wet anyway, how about the slip n slide??”
For over an hour, five hysterical and soaked kids played outside in the rain. I made dinner, fed the baby. Everything on the list was done. By the time their mom came back they were all dry, the scrapbook was done, and the little ones were in bed.
There was Andrew’s voice again. “Do you remember, Mom? Do remember we all played slip-n-slide in the backyard in the rain?”
“Yes, that was pretty awesome, wasn’t it Sweetie?”
“All the way awesome.”