Easter Sunday and Kids
Tell me it isn't just us!
I wrote this after Easter Sunday 2007. I came across it recently and figured I'd post it.
Easter Sunday. Big day. As a family that finds a way to run late no matter what each Sunday, we vow to get up early and make it to church early so we can get a seat in what we know will be a standing room only service. Service starts at 10:15. We live close so we can leave around 10:00 and have time to get the kids checked in downstairs and grab a seat. We get up extra early. The plan is going well. The kids find their baskets and rifle through. Dominic only mentions how he thought the Easter Bunny was bringing him a camera. It didn't. He's bummed.
The mood sours when he is somewhat inconsolable. I deal with it. Some waffles in the toaster and the kids and I are fed while Tammie takes a shower. Kristina leaves to get to church by 9:00 for choir in all three services.
This is when things start to fall apart.
The phone rings. Kristina is at the corner, her car sideways in the driveway of a gas station with the front tire jammed into the fender well. It won't move. She's all upset and wants me to help her. I have a wife in the shower and three 4-year-olds starting to get cranky for reasons unexplainable. Just one of those mornings.
Back up two weeks prior. Kristina says her car is doing something funky. It jerks to the right after she straightens it out from a turn. I drive it and notice it too. Eyeballing it, I see nothing wrong, but I know something is seriously out of whack. I tell her to get it looked at ASAP. Our neighbor owns a repair shop. He hooks us up all the time. She can go to him even without money. Did she? No. So now, two weeks later, she's reaping the rewards of ignoring the problem. It's Sunday morning. She has a ride coming to get her, so that is solved. I can't help her much more at the moment and tell her as much.
I'm trying to get the kids dressed. Tammie is half ready and begins to help. Kayla's throws a fit because her shoes hurt. We don't have any other shoes for her to wear except tennis shoes which look very hokey with her new Easter dress. She loses it. She insists on us finding some magic pair of shoes that fit. There are none.
The phone rings. Kristina is crying, "The guy in the gas station says I have to move the car now! What do I do? It won't go! I asked him if I can leave it there for a little while and he said no, it's causing a problem now."
I have no clue what I can do to get this car moved, and a huge part of me feels I should let her soak in this as I warned her to have it looked at and that something like this would happen. I tell her to leave it there and if he has a problem with it, HE can have it towed. It's a pile of crap anyway and not worth the fee it would take to get it out of an impound lot. I have to hang up and tell her "Good luck." I need to get in the shower. I start for the bathroom, wanting to have a word with the station attendant. It’s a full service station with full service bays. Surely the guy could have grabbed a tow truck and just straightened her car out or get it out of the way.
The phone rings again. "Would Bob help me?"
"Bob always helps us. Call him." Of course, I have to run downstairs and find his number for her. We hang up.
I'm in the shower but my phone is by the sink in the bathroom. It rings again. I DON'T want to answer, but I figure I have to, given the situation. "Bob just came and got my keys and said he'll see me on Monday."
Bob's like that. A good neighbor to have. But why did I need to know this? Back to the shower.
I get out of the shower and realize the time I spent on the phone with Kristina killed the extra half-hour we had that morning. Leaving just 10 minutes earlier than usual would have made all the difference in the world, but time has sped by and we are now running late. I get dressed. By now, Tammie is dressed and the kids are ready except for Kayla. No shoes. She refuses to wear the tennis shoes, kicking me in the face in her rant as I try to put them on her. I try not to be angry and I go on a shoe hunt. I have a shirt and tie on and I'm rummaging around the closet for any shoes that may fit. They're all old. None fit. And now I'm sweating like Jim Carrey inside the fake Rhino in the 2nd "Pet Detective".
Kayla finally decides there is nothing wrong with the first pair of shoes. We begin loading into the van after 10:00. The girls are crying because it is cold. And it IS cold! A rare for Easter Sunday cold! Fridgid and WINDY! It's whipping a cold, dry air across their legs because we just had to have them wear their Easter dresses. About now I feel like an horses behind for not just putting them in long pants. Oh well, the church is not far and it is warm inside (remeber I said "it's warm inside).
As we pass the station where Kristina's car is, I see that it is NOT in such a horrible spot. No reason it "had" to be moved. I want to speak with the man on duty. I can't now. I quickly play out in my mind how I plan for that conversation to go. We drive by and get to the church parking lot which is JAMMED! I drop Tammie and the kids off, but Dominic insists he wants to park with daddy. Ok. Fine.
We park and walk through the brisk air hoping to get warmed inside the building, but NOOOO. For some reason, the front doors are propped open as people shuffle in and out. We walk to the stairs to go down and realize all the cold air is going right to the basement. It’s freeeeezing down there! I catch up to Tammie as she is checking our two girls in. They are both bawling! I mean red cheeked, runny nosed, wet faced crying because they don't want us to leave them down there. Dominic then starts to pull back and I have to drag him, water-ski style, down the hall as he begins to scream.
We are now the focal point of all people in the basement.
We get them checked in, calmed down, and we go upstairs. Service has started. I'm very worked up and here I am inside a church. If someone were to reach out to shake my hand, I probably would have ... never mind. No chance to get our usual seats. Looks about standing room only. We find two seats in the very last row. When the pastor says, "Turn around and shake hands", we can't turn around because there is a brick wall behind our seats. But we do greet those around us and pretend we are happy or something.
So we begin trying to talk each other down. "The Devil got to us today. Let's not let him get a foothold. Rise above it. Yadda, yadda, yadda..."
Of course, as we look up, Kristina made it to choir and is singing like a songbird. Then when the choir is done, we see her go to her seat... which was reserved for her by friends about three rows from the front.