Last night, we had Parent Teacher conferences. The kids came with us and waited in the hall. Needless to say, when that was over, we all needed a gin & tonic so we took off for Houlihan’s. Kealoha ordered a Long Island Iced Tea and I ordered three gin & tonics. My daughter said: “Mommy, I’m only nine!”
I said, “That’s right! Don’t worry. I’ll drink yours.”
The above is not at all true. Except for the conference part. And Houlihan’s.
We stuffed our faces with edamame, burgers, salmon, mashed potatoes, crème brulee, spinach dip, and fries (not all at the same time). It was a regular Thanksgiving. I looked at my kids and my husband and felt a surge of happiness. “You all drive me crazy, and I love you.”
“Ditto,” they said.
After dinner, Kealoha ran to the grocery store and I drove the kids home. It was dark. Thick dark. Headless Horseman kind of dark. “Gosh, I never drive in the dark anymore,” I said.
My son said, “That’s because you never leave the house.”
That’s partly true.
Minutes later I heard a deep rattling sound from the backseat. “What is that sound?” I asked, worried that my tire was falling off in the dark, or there was a mysterious hand-hook latched to the door.
My daughter said, “Oh, Louis is pretending to be asleep. He’s snoring.”
Immediately I took that as a challenge and made my own snoring sound, only it didn’t come out as a snore. No. It came out like that scary clicking sound the Alien makes when it’s laying its eggs, or about to bite Ripley’s face off. You know, THAT sound.
Louis immediately woke up. “What was THAT?”
I said: “I have no idea! I didn’t know I was even capable of making that sound.”
“Do it again, Mommy! Make the demon sound again! I love demons!”
“De-mons! De-mons! De-mons!” My darling children chanted. Or maybe I imagined that part.
We laughed and laughed and laughed, our bellies full, our hearts warm and it put all the stress of that Parent Teacher conference into perspective. Both my kids are struggling with anxiety disorders and/or learning disabilities and/or depression and it’s affecting them at school and at home. I’ve spent more time at therapists’ offices this year than I care to admit. But we’re getting them help. We’re figuring this out. But for those few minutes, nothing else mattered.
And the dark wasn’t scary at all.