Jane, who has been away from home this entire summer (save about ten days), commented today how much she misses her two best friends. Since they both live within walking distance of our church, I suggested that she invite them to our talent show tonight. So she did and one came.
When it was over, the normal post-event chaos ensued. Everyone milled around to congratulate the performers on a job well-done. Children ran to and fro at break-neck speeds, gushing hyper post-performance energy. As I left a conversation with the music director and her husband, I was approached with The Question.
The Question comes up anytime Jane is in the company of a friend and is often cleverly crafted in a way to make the request seem un-burdensome and even wise.
“Can Allison spend the night with us tonight? She’s going to the volleyball camp tomorrow, so it’d be real easy to drop her off too.”
“No. I have to drop you off at Madison’s house in the morning before work. Her mom is taking you to camp because Daddy has to take the boys to swim lessons.”
With that, she walked away and I thought the conversation was done. How foolish I was. The girls regrouped and approached Madison’s mom. When I was revisited, the plan had changed and had already been approved by at least one parent from each household. Jane had weighed her odds and approached her dad.
The new plan was that Jane and Allison were both going to spend the night at Madison’s house. Since Madison’s mom was already taking Jane to camp, after all, it’d be no problem. Of course, neither girl had brought her volleyball clothes to church that night. So all I had to do was run Jane home to get her clothes. Oh, and stop by Allison’s house to pick them up because they could walk down there to get Allison’s clothes. No big deal, so far as the girls saw it.
Various logistical problems ensued, including sending Daryl home with Madison’s mom so Allison could fit in our car. This solved the “it’s not fair” problem Daryl had with the whole arrangement by giving him some time with Madison’s brother Trenton. I also had to clarify to Allison’s mom that “spending the night with Jane” did not mean staying at Jane’s house, which then meant introducing her to Madison’s mom, whom she had never met, and assuring her that I was not sending our children home with an axe murderer. Eventually, though, we had the two girls in our car and drove home to get Jane’s stuff.
Before we left our house, I asked, “Did you get everything?”
“Oh, wait. No. Be right back.” She ran back to her room and when she returned, I resumed my checklist of items she usually forgets.
“Oh, yeah. Better get that too.” As she returned, she suddenly remembered her tennis shoes. In the car, I ran down the remaining items. Shorts? Shirt? Socks? Hairbands? Deodorant? Toothbrush? Toothpaste? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. YES, Mom.
“Oh, by the way. We need to stop by Allison’s house. She forgot her kneepads.” On the way to Allison’s house, she remembered a couple more things that she had forgotten, including her shoes. Allison ran into her house to get the forgotten items while her mom stood at the door and shook her head in dismay. Then Jane yelped the tell-tale “Oh! Shoot!” and started rummaging through her bag. She hopped out just as Allison returned to the car. “Can I borrow an UnderArmour headband?” she asked.
“Sure,” said Allison, “What color?” Jane pondered the question while Allison ran down the possibilities and I thought What color?! Seriously? Does that even matter? Beggars can’t be choosers. Come on girls… Jane eventually settled on “anything with black on it” and we were soon on the road to Madison’s house.
When I finally made it home, I realized I had (ironically) forgotten my phone in the car. Opening the door to retrieve it, I saw a pair of tennis shoes in the front floorboard.
Do you need these tennis shoes in the floorboard? I texted.
Ohh crap yeah was the response.
I don’t suppose you could bring them to me??
It’s a wonder these girls can even remember to get out of bed. I wonder what they’ll forget at Madison’s house when they leave for camp in the morning.
Addendum: The next morning, we transferred the shoes from my husband’s car to my truck. As I began to back out of the drive, I received a text from Jane: I think I left my Gatorade in the car too.
I hopped out and hustled over to the car, retrieved the Gatorade, and then resumed my trip. At Madison’s house, I carried in the two pairs of shoes (Jane’s father and I had disagreed with her shoe selection, believing the shoes with tiny welding burn holes were still a better choice than those falling apart at the toes), but missed the Gatorade, which had rolled off the seat during the drive.
I stated our case for the shoes. She stuck with her selection. I said I hoped she didn’t hurt herself diving for the ball. She asked for her Gatorade.
When I said I had left it in the car, she had the gall to tease me for forgetting an object that I care nothing about and which had been forgotten by the person for whom it is important. Then, on the way out the door, Allison called out from the couch, “Hey, Jane. Grab mine too please.”
“Wait, she forgot hers too? I didn’t bring the car, honey. If you needed me to search the backseat for her Gatorade, you should have said so.”
I’m at work (finally). Those girls are on their own now. God help them.