Friday, November 6, 2015

Halloween and Stuff

(I know Halloween was a week ago, but I've been busy, so hush.) 

Bad weather on Halloween seems like one of those Murphy's Law kind of things. As I'm sure most parents were, I was thrilled that Halloween fell on a Saturday this year. Much better than a Monday, that's for sure. There's nothing quite like telling your child, who has eaten 473 pieces of candy, that she must go to bed by 8 because it's a school night.

So anyway, yeah, it rained on Halloween. I took the kid trick-or-treating in the pouring rain. She was determined to go, though. There's candy in them thar hills! She dressed as a rock star and found it a bit challenging to juggle an umbrella and a plastic microphone. I took her around the neighborhood for an hour or so, and then brought her home to dry off a bit. She wanted to hand out candy to other trick-or-treaters, but her dad was not a fan of this plan because he was worried that she would give away the specific types of candy he wanted to keep. They finally worked out a compromise that seemed to involve him hiding some of the candy.  Later, the rain slowed down and the rock star went back out into the neighborhood with her dad. I am still not sure where he hid the candy that he didn't want the trick-or-treaters to have.

The real highlight of  the weekend was a visit from my friend Rachel. We've been friends since the sixth grade (34 years, in other words). I sent her a text a few weeks ago asking her if she might be able to come for a visit. We saw each other in Chincoteague (Virginia) back in July, but it was about 187 degrees that day and it was just a short visit. She booked a flight right away. Had I known it was that easy, I would have invited her much sooner!

I picked her up at the airport last Thursday.  As soon as we left the airport, we had to head straight to
an animal control facility to pick up a female Boxer whose stray hold was up. I had been told that the dog was 11 but judging from her exuberance, she's probably a little younger. You've never seen a dog so happy to get out of a shelter. My job was just to transport her to a vet clinic for boarding until another volunteer (foster home) could pick her up. I am leaving the rescue next month but it felt good to do one last shelter pick-up. The poor skinny girl (named Stella by her foster mom) barked for two solid hours in the car. She had a touch of kennel cough, so the more she barked, the more she sounded like a pack-a-day smoker. I kept thinking of that lady from Beetlejuice who had smoke coming out of her neck.

We delivered Stella to the clinic as promised and then drove across town to pick up my kid from after-school care. We ate a quick dinner and then we had to accompany Her Highness to a Halloween-themed school dance. Rachel and I sat in the cafe-gym-atorium while costumed children ran around like wild beasts. Thank goodness she was there. Last year I sat there by myself for two hours, staring at my phone.

Now, if you've ever had the privilege of knowing a tween, you know that they get embarrassed easily.  For days before the dance, I had been threatening to do the Robot on the dance floor. "Rachel's been practicing, too!" I told her.  Much eye-rolling ensued. Towards the end of the dance, I saw my kid on the dance floor with one of her friends. I wanted to let her know that it was just about time to go. I know her friend pretty well and know that she has a great sense of humor. "Hey, look what I can do!" I shouted above the music. I extended my right arm straight out to the side and let it drop at the elbow, swinging the lower part of my arm back and forth a la The Robot. Then I flattened my hands, bent my arms stiffly at the elbow, and slowly moved them up and down. I saw the look of horror on my daughter's face.

"MOM!" she yelled.

I wasn't done, though. I found her principal on the other side of the room. I knew he would know who my daughter is (she's been at the school since 4K). "Hey, when you see my daughter, you should tell her, 'Hey, your mom can really do the robot.'"  He nodded and laughed.  I figured he'd see her in the halls a few days later or something.

A few minutes later, we were heading to the car when I noticed my daughter was stomping across the parking lot looking quite peeved. "Why are you in such a hurry, Goober?"

"Really, Mom?! Mr. M just said to me, 'Hey, your mom can really do the robot!'"

Ladies and gentlemen, I have reached Parenting Level: Awesome.

The rest of Rachel's visit went well despite the rain on Saturday. On Friday evening, we went to an improv comedy show with a couple of my other friends. It was a lot of fun. I am so fortunate to have so many good friends. Truly. My daughter didn't have school on Friday and I had to work, so Rachel kept an eye on her for the day. She brought her some craft projects and stuff to work on.

On Sunday, I returned my friend to the airport and sent her back home. I already have some fun stuff in mind for her next visit. As for my daughter, I don't have anything specifically embarrassing planned but I have a feeling that before too long . . . just breathing oxygen in her presence will be embarrassment enough.

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