Thanksgiving was the single, quietest eating event of my life. Mom had gone to visit cousin Deb for a few days and would be there Thanksgiving. No turkey around here. No dressing. No pie. No aromas and no leftovers. (But Christmas dinner looms and I'll make up for that.) Sister invited me over to her house but the truth was I was under the weather with the flub which is what you have when you have had your flu shot but have symptoms that come crashing in on Wednesday that are highly suspicious and cause you to miss the annual Parnassus decorating party of which you take great pleasure. So Flubbed up and no decorating and no dressing. I finally webblewobbled my way over to my sons to watch the new Kurt Russell Christmas movie which we both gave two Kurt Russell fans thumbs up and then I came home and went straight to bed. At seven.
The Charmings were scheduled to arrive the next afternoon and I was in hopes that I would survive the visit. Three small children equal sixteen hundred small children when you have the flub. To Which led me to creating THE MASTER PLAN. Otherwise KNOWN AS A SCHEDULE. Instead of a romping up the stairs down the stairs free for all of giddy wonder and oh, boy, oh, boy and Zaza this and Zaza that - we would abide by a list of acceptable activities ONE AT A TIME. Sickness will force you to figure some things out. Somehow, by the grace of what comes with being ZAZA and possessing a Magic Marker - we made it through movie night with homemade popcorn, sleeping bags, superhero pajamas.
We pulled out all stops and aprons and made Pancakes for breakfast in helper on the footstool modes instead of the easy go to - cereal and feed yourself. We had drawing time, story time, nap time, bath and bubbles time, truck time, and even a short variation of load up for fresh air we are going to the park time.
All of which I tick-tocked off the list with a sigh of relief because I was hanging in there and making it. But then just as we were rounding the corner for night two of family movie time, sleeping bag and spaghetti time (not necessarily in that order,) Kevin the rescue dog began barking furiously so that THE Damon had to rush out to the front porch to see what all the fuss was about and we hear this NOISE that is not immediately recognizable because it is nighttime and it is clip, clop, clip, clop with a solid dog bark beat and Kevin rushing to the road where a horse comes into view with a rider wearing a lighted helmet and Damon screams ZAZA A MAN I RIDING A HORSE IN THE NIGHT BY OUR HOUSE! even though I am standing right next to him. A man riding a horse through the night was not on my schedule of activities. I call Kevin who is chasing the horse and because I am being Estelle's granddaughter and was raised by the tribe of Eeyore I immediately have visions of tragedy and doom, of the dog getting stomped to death by the horse which will be all the worse because Damon will witness it and the other boys will come out to see what's happening and I will have to call their daddy at work and this is going to be one of the worst nights of their lives. Only it isn't because even though I call Kevin he doesn't come but when Damon calls him he turns around and runs and runs. And every time he stops to catch his breath and Damon calls him he runs and runs again. And every time he stops to catch his breath - (as I said - we live up on a hill) And this keeps happening because when I call him he acts like he may be actually slowing down and thinking of chasing the horse again but when Damon calls he picks up speed and starts running again and Damon cracks up laughing so hard about this that he can't catch his breath and so I begin laughing too. Because laughing, thank God is contagious. Then he comes up with
DAMON'S BIG IDEA
And says - HEY DO YOU JUST WANT TO STAY OUT HERE FOR AWHILE. We can just sit here and we can light these lanterns which is also not on my schedule but because I have drug all the plants BACK OUT TO THE PORCH for one last HURRAH of Sunshine and there is a little fuel left in those mosquito lanterns and because I am a ZAZA I say ok - so Damon rushing in the house and go's, HEY GUYS (who are watching Wreck It Ralph for the third time because they love it so) WANT TO COME OUTSIDE and SIT ON THE PORCH?!!! WE're gonna LIGHT THE LANTERNS Like it is the niftiest thing to happen in the year 2018 and BECAUSE I am a ZAZA I remember I have stashed two packages of that magical madness known as SPARKLERS leftover from the forth of JULY and we pull those down out of the pantry and light the lanterns and light the sparklers and the NINE year old Michael who is becoming old and wise now and evolving says, I'm gonna use my phone (that only takes pictures and videos) to take pictures first and then I'll hold one, so he captures this magical moment of lamplight and sparklers and laughter and I think - these kids. Without them I'd just be all flubbed up and nothing else. No magic lights. No laughter. Then son calls from work and says I just want to make certain you guys- ARE LOOKING AT THE MOON so we have to run to the back back porch where we can see through the trees and see the full, yellow moon rising and for a moment I forget about - everything. All the reasons that my heart is heavy. The burning of Paradise, the destruction of the Gulf Coast, the rattle and hum of the constant undercurrent of my worries about this and undone that. Right in the middle of illness and anxiousness there is nothing but this moment, these three little boys with Ryder on my lap and them looking up at our one, big, beautiful yellow, full moon - and they were cheering because a big, yellow moon is worth cheering over.
And so is this moment right here to still be fully alive with the wind whipping on the hill, the night leaves falling at our feet and the moonlight just as magical as it ever was.
May your week make way for magic and God whisper the greatest of tidings in such a way that you may hear the words.
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