Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Grownups at the Kids' Table

Ooof.  It has been a rough few days for me.

I have had a cold, and so has Chuck.  We handle illness very differently:  I keep blasting along regardless and double-dog dare the virus to stick around; Chuck gives himself a day of total surrender.  I find myself envious of his approach.  And you know how it is this time of year:  I am hosting something or attending something every night for the next week, including various over night house-guests each night through the new year.  Don't get me wrong!  I love it!  Well, I love the company.  I don't love the logistical puzzles or the self-applied pressure to clean out the inside of the fridge before my new MIL comes to stay.
 We had snow a few days ago, and were productive in the face of the storm.  Meet the '88 Isuzu trooper that Chuck rehabilitated and made into his "new" plow vehicle.
I got all of the wood stacked and tarped, and rigged lights on our stairs.  This is part Christmas aesthetic and part safety feature.  You can see our stairs are kind of scary.

Now it has been melty and drippy for a few days.  This has made the stairs much better, but our woodland "luge run" a bit worse.

Sara had a sledding party last night, so she was anxious about it; but judging by the pink, gasping faces and soaked mittens, a good time was had by all.  I like this kind of party:  Sara told me all I had to do was make dinner!  She invited five kids and Nate invited a couple of friends to keep him company, so nine kids, total.  

Sara's boyfriend, picture-perfect Nick, was in attendance.  Maria once asked me to describe him and give her an idea of what he is like.  It's very hard for me.  He is a darkly handsome, tall, polite non-entity.  He has yet to engage me in conversation.  I overhear bits and pieces of his conversations with others, which just confirm my assumptions:  he's very conservative.  Last night, in discussing gay marriage in Utah, which is legal since the courts overturned the state's marriage law two days ago ("Toto!  I don't think we're in Kansas any more!"), he told Sara and the other kids, "Well, if gays are allowed to marry, what will happen if there is some kind of crisis and only gays are getting married, and then no one will have children and there won't be any more people!"  HAHAHAHAHAH!  OK, I didn't laugh... I said not one word and kept at my self-appointed task of cleaning out the fridge, but with my ears perked up to hear how the other kids would respond.  Better that he have the (oh-my-god-I-can't-even-count-how) many logical fallacies of that statement pointed out to him by someone in his peer group.   Sara's friend Mo did the honors, and I kept my head down, snorting.  

At any rate, Maria, I keep my ears and eyes open and my mouth shut, for now.  

The kids came, they sledded, they played a lot of ping pong (and "Sting-Pong": when you lose, you get smacked with the paddle), they "chilled"... They ATE!!  I cooked a BOX and  a HALF of PASTA!  They ate it all.  I had them lined up down both sides of the big farmhouse table, and Chuck and I huddled like refugees at the kitchen counter.  I advocated on behalf of salad, and asked for particulars about the state of the luge run, but otherwise stayed out of the fray.

It was fun.  Fun to let Sara figure out the evening and the people on her own.  And it feels good that she loves having friends at our place and effortlessly refers to Chuck as her step dad.  

And while this hullabaloo was going on, I not only cleaned out the fridge, but did the ironing.  Quite a party!


  1. Cricket, ironing the fridge. Whoops I meant to write, crikey, ironing and cleaning the fridge out(!) not bad hey!

  2. Don't you wish that we could just pick our daughter's mates? But, then...I think about who MY Mother would have selected and I break out in hives. So perhaps it is best that we let them make their own way. The boyfriend sounds harmless enough and if he is good to Sara? Enough said. The hardest part for me with Liv's friends is NOT to talk to them at all. I have found that if I silently drive, I learn a lot. It's like they forget I am there but if I say anything, the spell is broken and they clam up. Feeling better?