I have to say that the kid was actually pretty compliant on the drive both ways. She has gotten into playing Minecraft (her cousin gave her some pointers) so she plays that on the Kindle Fire for fairly long stretches. Apparently the game involves building stuff. There are two modes: creative mode and monster mode. She dabbles in monster mode (the game cycles through day/night and, as I understand it, the monsters come out at night) but mostly plays in creative mode. During the trip, we asked her what she was building.
"I'm building a house. I'm building the floor out of snow."
P and I looked at each other and then asked the same question: "Don't your feet get cold if the floor is made out of snow?"
A, looking at us as if we are complete dumb asses: "No, because you have to sleep in your shoes so you can fight at night."
Anyway, back to the trip. The purpose of the trip was to visit some friends of ours. It's the same family that we accompanied to Disney World a year ago. We already know that they can put up with us for a solid week, so three nights seemed more than do-able. We arrived at their house fairly late, so we reconnected, had a couple drinks, and then crashed for the night. A slept in the living room with the other kids. P and I slept in the thirteen-year-old son's bedroom. I just prayed I wouldn't accidentally leave behind a pair of underwear or something that would cause irreparable psychological damage to the kid.
The next morning, we got up and went to their middle son's basketball tournament. I know this will come as a shock to you, but I know almost nothing about basketball. I watched the kids and watched the play clock and did my best to follow along.
"Sooooo," I asked my friend, "Is the game divided into periods, quarters, halves, isosceles triangles, or . . . ?" I had no idea if I should plan to be there for an hour, a week, or what. Anyway, the team lost so we all headed out.
As we drove to a restaurant for lunch, I fiddled with my phone (I almost never get to be a passenger in a car - I am always the driver). As I was poking around on Facebook, I noticed a post from a friend I've known since the sixth grade. Maridith was flying in (from California) to attend a conference. She would be just 40 minutes or so from where I was staying. I contacted her through Facebook to see if she had time to get together. She did! We made plans to meet at her hotel later that evening.
After lunch, the eight of us went roller skating. I love to roller skate, so I was more than happy to go. We rented a wheeled walker thingamajig made out of PVC piping for A (because she demanded to have one). The three boys flung themselves out on the rink with abandon. Our kid was a little more cautious. Over time, though, she decided to try skating without it and went around a few times on her own. I was very proud of her! The rink did a special "age group" skate at one point. First they had kids 10 and under skate to a song. Then 11-13 and so forth. I was curious to see if they would have one for adults. Well, sure enough. They played "Atomic Dog" and invited everyone over the age of 18 to skate. The deejay looked to be about 15. I could picture her getting ready to put that song on. "Hey, where do we keep that song that we play for the old people?" We skated for about two hours in total and then decided we were all getting blisters and headed out.
After dinner, I set off on my own to meet up with my long lost friend. I don't think we had seen each other since we graduated high school in 1988. I found her at her hotel and had a couple of drinks with Maridith, her husband, and a couple of their co-workers who were attending the same conference. I'm still floored that we were in the same city at the same time and that we were able to get together. I took the liberty of reminding her of the time, in seventh grade, when my mom gave me a perm and then Maridith made fun of me. She, in turn, reminded me of the time in sixth grade when she'd also made fun of me for my inability to kick a ball. She was right, though. I still can't kick a ball very well. Or throw a frisbee. Or, do anything sporty, if I'm being honest here.
The next day, Sunday, we took the kids to an amazing park. Had it not been 50 degrees and rainy, I suspect we would have stayed there all day. Instead, we packed up after about an hour and headed to a bowling alley. We split ourselves into two lanes. Much like my ability to kick a ball, my bowling skills are lacking as well. I bowled a 76 the first game. I did manage to break a hundred on the second game. For what it's worth.
That night, the grown-ups went out to dinner at Buca di Beppo. We stuck the teen with all of the younger kids. He was a good sport about it, though. When we got home, we played Balderdash. The 13-year-old and 11-year-old joined us as well. I had never played Balderdash before, but allow me to say that I DOMINATED the game. I can't kick a ball or throw a frisbee but I can play a word game, dammit! Of course, later it occurred to me that I'd beaten a fifth grader, a seventh grader, and three adults who had been drinking for several hours. Perhaps I've overstated my awesomeness at Balderdash here.
The next morning, we hit the road for the long drive back home. The kid was so quiet and non-complaining on the way home that we checked her temperature when we got to the house. I am not even kidding - she is never that compliant unless she is sick. She didn't have a fever, though. We decided that either she is maturing or she is lulling us into a false sense of security while she plots some sort of hostile takeover.
|Roller Disco Queen!|
|My oooold friend. And I do mean old. She's ancient. Ha ha! Seriously, though, if we're the same age, how come she looks so much younger and cuter than I do?|