This one is about a parking lot. And two dogs. And approximately 592 muffins. And a mini van. And one dead African Violet. And my hopeless inability to keep living things alive.
Yes. Today’s story is about my recent escapades as-wait for it-ballet Mom.
Stage lights fade to black.
What would you do if your daughter were rushed home from Africa with a moderately crippling infection in her legs? If you’re John and Cindy Peterson, you seize the opportunity to capitalize on the free babysitting and jet off on a cruise.
I kid you not.
Thus, before the sun had bothered to wake up on Friday morning, I dropped my two rather elated parents off at the airport, and found myself rudely thrust into the foreign world of ballet rehearsals and band practices, six thirty breakfasts and eight thirty bedtimes, mini vans and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, youth group and Cartoon Network, twelve year old math and twenty-three year old headaches.
Yes. On Friday morning, I became ballet Mom.
The learning curve has been steep. Who knew that sixth grade girls have to be reminded to shower? I figured that little gem out this morning as I hugged my greasy haired sister goodbye at seven AM.
In her pajamas. [She’s just a teenage dirt-bag, baby!] Emily’s wardrobe this week is brought to you by “my sister lets me pick out my own clothes”. In theatres Friday. My Father would be absolutely mortified. [If he had time to be mortified, that is. But he’s too busy soaking up sunshine somewhere off the coast of Bermuda.]
And who knew that if left to their own devices while packing a lunch, sixth grade girls will cram little red lunchboxes
full of enough chocolate chip muffins to feed a small third world country?
I could write a dissertation on just how nutritionally irredeemable my chocolate chip muffins are. But I won’t. Emily and I are spending this week attempting to answer that age-old question: Can a woman survive on chocolate alone?
Thus far, the results are less than promising. But I’ll keep you posted.
And let’s talk about picking that child up from her church youth retreat on Sunday. In an effort to fully embrace my inner mini-van, I rolled in to the designated pick-up parking lot about half an hour early. [Oh, hey type A.] Secretly gloating at just how swimmingly my new gig as ballet-Mom was coming along, I got out of the car and glided into the youth center to very responsibly sit on an over-stuffed black couch and very responsibly wait for my little sister to arrive.
Which she did, approximately forty-five minutes later. [Note to my future self: middle-schoolers are not type A. Arrive no less than fifteen minutes late to pick up kids.]
Still determined to rock this ballet Mom thing, I cheerfully hugged Emily hello, and asked her how her weekend had been.
Well what did they talk about?
Sex. And how it’s bad and you shouldn’t have it.
We scooped up her backpack, rolling duffel bag, sleeping bag, and pillow [which by the way was also crammed full of those little things a sixth grade girl can’t possibly do without for a weekend], and my prepared-for-anything sister and I ventured into the parking lot and towards the car, teetering under our respective loads and looking for all the world like we were off to trek through an African jungle.
Too bad she hadn’t packed a compass. She had everything else.
The car was nowhere to be found. We helplessly wandered up and down row after endless row of cars until finally, fighting a growing sense of dread that we were going to end up on the six o’clock news, I left my twelve year old little sister standing alone on the curb with a mountain of luggage, whilst I ventured into the great unknown to find the car I was rapidly becoming convinced had been stolen.
If I were a gazelle, I would be the first one eaten at the watering hole.
It took half an hour. Half an hour of wandering around aimlessly like a raving lunatic, desperately looking for that blasted silver Honda.
At long last, I finally rolled up to the curb, where a very tired Emily had made herself comfortable in the Sunday sun-entirely resigned to the fact that her big sister is a nut job.
Dr. Livingston, I presume?
[She didn’t think it was funny, either.]
Apparently, I am not cut out to be ballet Mom quite yet.
This startling glimpse into my potential future has been terrifying, at best. The African Violets are dying [and that one takes a special kind of idiot], the recycling bin is overflowing, the dogs are refusing to eat anything but bacon, I can’t find the vacuum, and 478-too-many muffins have sent Em and I spiraling towards diabetic comas. This morning, seven AM found a rather confused twenty three year old standing in her driveway in her polka-dotted pajamas, rubbing sleep out of her bleary eyes, desperately clutching an oversized cup of caramel truffle coffee for dear life, waving goodbye to a bright yellow school bus and hollering after her greasy-haired, pajamad sister not to do drugs.
And talking about herself in the third person.