We were on our way to a party at a friend's house Friday night, and C. was trying to get the itinerary straight in his head:
"Mommy, we are picking M. up at the library?"
"And then we are going to Walmart?"
"And then we are going to the B.'s?"
"And then we are going to jail?"
Okay, the B.s' parties are always fun and the atmosphere is pretty relaxed, but I don't recall anyone going to jail. That does make me wonder what sort of stories C. is going to be telling at school about our family activities.
We were originally supposed to be going to another gathering, one I'm sure we would have enjoyed as well, peopled with names that are probably a bit more recognizable around town. Good people, but no one I know well enough to say, "Oh, crap, the baby puked on me, can I borrow a pair of jeans?" to. (Not that this has happened to me. Just M.)
The B.s' parties are peopled with mechanics, cops, teachers. Hard-working, plain-speaking, salt-of-the-earth types, who may not have a lot of money or connections, but who will show up to help when your pipes freeze. They live waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out in the desert, on land they are fixing up themselves. It seems like every time we go out there is something new - a garden, a horse corral, a nice deck with a hot tub.
Of course, this month we finally started getting some rain, and the sky really dumped just before the party. They had put up a couple awnings over the deck so the adults were nice and dry, but the ground for miles around was solid mud. Did I mention that most of these people have kids? And that the kids of hard-working, salt-of-the-earth types are generally not prissy, afraid-to-get-dirty types?
Yep, they had fun. C. ran off to join the pack the minute we got there (which, as shy as he used to be, made me very happy), and I pretty much didn't see him for the next four hours, except when Daddy found him and made him get something to eat. Mrs. B. very wisely served everyone from the doorway of the house, blocking it off with her 90-pound frame and a don't-even-think-about-walking-those-muddy-shoes-into-my-kitchen stare.
S. was her usual charming little turd self, scamming food from everyone, seeing how close she could get to the edge of the deck and then grinning every time she made Daddy jump. She enjoyed the mud as well (which reminds me, I still need to see if I can get those cammo boots clean). L. slept the entire time, not even stirring when one of the ladies appeared in front of me, announced, "I have washed my hands," scooped him up, and wandered off. There you have a testament as to how relaxed these gatherings are - that morning at the library I had kept him hidden away from everyone at the SRP closing ceremony, but when T. carried him away I just dug into my cake and ice cream, enjoying having both hands free for a moment.
Conversation ranged from car repair to husbands who hog the bed to potato salad recipes (the latter sounds so old ladyish, but it was REALLY GOOD potato salad!) No politics, no having to watch what you say or to who, just regular people wrapping up the week and enjoying each others' company.
And nobody went to jail.