Remember that I shared with you the other day that I get sick for holidays and vacations? So Mark has strep throat and I have pneumonia, let the good times roll! The first official day of school vacation rolls around, Chris leaves for work at his usual time with me trying to clutch onto his foot. By seven-thirty in the morning Melissa is dressed and asking for play dates, Mark has overtaken all the media in our home. Forget about any housework, it’s not going to happen, if I am very lucky I might get to shower.
At 9:30 A.M. we are heading out the door, each child has a scooter and I am clutching a pocketbook and mp3 player. Melissa has the lead and is resplendent in a bright pink sweater that has a huge hole in it, a denim skirt, black dancer tights, with sparkling silver shoes. She streaks down the road on her scooter and is gone. Her trail is easy to follow for Mark and I, we just look for crushed leaves and squirrels, Mark is using his scooter but at maybe a third of his sister’s speed. I stagger along behind Mark and this is when a word flashes through my mind. Trust. I will have to trust that when I eventually make it to the corner, my children will be there waiting for me. Trust that they do not cross the street without me, take candy from strangers, or get lost. Mark was sitting against a tree up ahead scooter in his lap and as I approached he got back up, scooting slowly up the street next to me.
“I cannot keep up with Melissa today. Don’t have enough energy, but I want to keep going. Mom, you don’t look good, you are even slower than me.” It takes us almost an hour just to get to Dunkin Donuts which is only about two or three blocks from our house. The children decide to take their sugary breakfast to the Essex Museum mall area, where there is a fountain that is full of stones meant to create a map. I collapse on a bench with a very large coffee and turn on the music in my mp3 player while watching the kids.
Tourists wander by and those that came with children, for some reason would find that their children were somehow roped into a game by my children. These folks assumed that they paid money to see witches, pirates or see history of one of the original thirteen colonies, no, they came all this way so that their children could play with Mark and Melissa. Every now and then I would catch snatches of words or phrases from the game. “The dog said he would grant you two wishes after the battle” “”Where is the wizard, he has my ice cream!!” “I know the Ogre was murdered, we shall do an autopsy and prove it!” “It is a war to the better death, space soldiers, fly!”
I wondered if any of the ticket selling places in Salem had such a crowd as we did. I scanned the faces of the many parents who were helplessly watching their kids playing this game and I saw some laughing, some stunned and many just plain confused. In other words, they had made the mistake of attempting to understand whatever my kids had for a storyline. I knew better and turned up my tunes.