Saturday, October 29, 12:30 p.m.
Life is full of surprises, as "they" say. I thought I'd be posting on this crazy blog like, well, like crazy. Instead I've just been going crazy trying to keep infections and fevers at bay. It has not gone according to the script I had carefully crafted in my head. But today's a new day and a beautiful one at that. So here I go...
I am home alone. I know! I'm thinking here's my chance. Trouble is, I can't think of anything to do that wouldn't involve getting out of my pj's to do it. I am so disappointed in myself.
Today is Ruby's 3rd birthday party. John, Megan, and Megan's two kids, Kyle (7) and Eliza (almost 2) drove to Apple Valley to celebrate. I decided to stay home because we felt it would be too risky to be among a group of people, especially young ones, so soon after a round of chemo when I am most vulnerable. Rebekah set us up with Skype the last time she visited so the plan is to connect towards the end of the party so Grandma Kathy can wish Ruby Lu the happiest of birthdays. Because I love her so, I will even clean up and wear fresh pajamas!
Ruby's birthday isn't actually until November 3 (her GOLDEN birthday), but this turned out to be a good weekend to celebrate particularly since Halloween is the theme of the party. It should be lots of fun -- I love seeing the kiddos in their costumes. Rebekah has no doubt unleashed her creative impulses with the party decorations. She always does such a good job.
Cora (4) and Ruby are both Little Mermaids this year -- different versions. Kyle is going to be Indiana Jones and Eliza will be a colorful owl. Megan scoured thrift stores searching for "authentic" Indy apparel which included a leather satchel, not an easy item to procure. Can't wait to see the world adventurer when he and Eliza come to 1040 for their tricks and treats.
Eliza's owl costume was made by Megan, probably just this past week if she's at all like her mother. If she finished it only last night, then I know for sure it's my good example she's following. I don't think we EVER had our costumes ready until the evening before, or more likely, the day of the event for which they were needed (like a school parade).
When Megan was a kindergartner, we (probably me--I don't think I gave my kids much choice) decided she would be a crayon. I found a piece of cardboard, shaped it as best I could into a cylinder (although the back edges overlapped and we used shoelaces to tie the cylinder together--easy to get into and out of), cut holes for her arms, painted it white (thinking about safety--more visible on a dark night--or maybe it was the only paint I had and it was too late to go to the store), glued a paper "point," with an opening for her adorable little face, on to the cylinder, and with black paint topped it all off with the official Crayola trademark logo and lettering. Perfect! And the paint was even dry for her to wear it to school the next day.
Halloween night Rebekah offered, or was enlisted, to take her little sis around the neighborhood to score some loot. Usually John had that honor. Honor, hah! It was a strategic move on his part--he always offered to carry their treat bags between houses--so he could steal from his kids while they blithely skipped to the next door. On this night, though, John wanted to hand out the candy (I think he had found a scary mask to try out on our trick 'n' treaters) and I probably was cleaning up the guts and blood we'd had for supper (spaghetti) and was way happy to give our ten-year-old, dressed as a gypsy I think (that good old standby), the job of escorting Megan.
I'm a little fuzzy on the sequence of events, but I think one of our neighbors came to our door and said Megan was having some kind of a problem. I recall that John quickly passed his door duties to me and hightailed it over to the neighbor's to assess the situation. What he found was a white crayon on the ground trying desperately to get up while her older sister was nearly doubled over with laughter. Poor Megan had fallen and she couldn't get up!
I'm not sure how long she had to endure such abject humiliation, but I'm pretty sure it was longer than it should have been. When I reviewed the scenario from my vantage point at our front door, it looked liked Megan's father--her own father!-- and the neighbor had joined Rebekah in the frivolity. I didn't worry too much, though, because I figured John would never want to face my wrath when the whole crayon debacle ended. Sure enough, he rescued her and they completed the rounds as a trio.
What had happened was that a huge design flaw had gone undetected. Actually, Megan had faced an issue with the costume earlier in the day when the kindergarten class had to climb the risers at a program in the school auditorium. She was unable to bend her knees because the cardboard covered them! Of course, I didn't hear about this until well after the whole falling down incident or I might have made an adjustment. So, there she lay, unable to bend her knees while her sister, too weak with laughter to be of help, watched her flail around like some upended albino turtle. Don't bother telling me the obvious--I know the laces in the back could have been untied and Ms. White could have been freed a lot sooner. Alas, no one but me knew the intricate workings of this child trap. Besides, the story is better as is. And Megan's therapy is working.