Meanwhile, back at
Today was Gunnar's long-awaited "Kid Party." June weather is unpredictable in our part of the world, and while yesterday was sunny and breezy, today dawned cloudy. About the time the emails started coming in from our friends, it began to sprinkle. And then to rain. And then to POUR. (Don't get me started. You know the old story about Eskimos having 50 words for snow? Same thing goes for Washingtonians and rain. Anyway...)
The anticipation of waiting for this afternoon to come, the downpour soaking through his image of the ideal party, and the concern and anxiety for our friends in Africa all churned together into the Perfect (emotional) Storm for a certain eight-year-old under my roof.
"Everything is ruined! Ruined, I say! And you just don't get it! I've prayed and prayed and it hasn't done any good at all!"
(Have I mentioned he can be a bit dramatic?)
"Ruined? It's not. It's going to be a great party. An adventure. We're going to have a fun time."
And we did.
I left our house, with the windshield wipers on hyper-drive, and headed to my parents'. We decided to have the party on their wooded, 15-acre property because Gunnar wanted what he calls a Scavenger Hunt - really, a follow-the-clues Treasure Hunt. I spent all morning writing up three sets of color-coded clues... so many I worried I'd "out-clevered" myself and was bound to put them in the wrong places, leading the kids in hopeless circles. But I scurried around in the still-driving rain, hiding clues I'd wrapped in individual sandwich baggies, finishing just moments before Kerry brought our boys and the guests began to arrive.
And the rain stopped, and the sun came out. God be praised!
We did a few silly relay races, had a quick lesson on identifying and avoiding stinging nettles, and then deployed the Yellow Team, the Red Team and the Green Team on their Treasure Hunts. Hallelujah, it worked. And let me tell ya, that was the grace of God, right there.
And you know what happened in the last few minutes of the Hunt? Rain. Yep. Right on cue.
But my mom (have I mentioned how great she is?) had gone above and beyond the call of duty. I only asked for the use of their property, planning to run the whole party outside, eat on the deck, and no muss, no fuss for her. When she saw the rain this morning and had visions of soggy, drippy, muddy kids, she hustled into town and came back with bright, sparkly, helium-filled mylar balloons (one for each kid!), decorated her living and dining room, and welcomed the kids all inside for presents and the treats I had brought.
Gunnar was absolutely thrilled (once he got over his grumpiness at not winning the Crab-Walk race), and loved the games, treats, and gifts. I think he may be sleeping with a certain wooden sword he received :0)
I'll try to post some pics when Kerry gets them downloaded. He took a bajillion, and they're nearly all shot from a distance - fleeting views of groups of kids running through the woods.
I'm sure they didn't go home as tired as I did, but it was worth it. I think a good time was had by all :0)