I Can Honestly Report that the Boys Didn’t Even Scream Like Little “GHOULS”

So really?  I think we all know that if I worked for CliffsNotes, I would have been brought into the boss’ office long ago for a little chat.

A chat which involved the boss saying, “You’re violating what our entire business is built on.  We thrive on the words BRIEF and CONDENSED and OH-SO-VERY-SHORT.  And we pack a punch in just a few words.  And then there’s you.  Because sweet mercy, but are you ever wordy, and your punches aren’t even loaded.”

Well tonight, people, my punches are going to be short and sweet — exactly like Rocky Balboa would have wanted things — because I am about to close this weekend down and put it to bed.  So, without further adieu, and in less than twenty-four-thousand words, I’ll fill you in on the Jedi Family’s weekend.

On Friday night, Small Town High was playing some football in town, and Hubs and I both sadly admitted that INDEED!  Long week!  Very tired! And neither of us had what it took to load up the Columbia jackets and the thick, fuzzy blankets and head to the stadium with enough loose change jingling in our pockets for hot cocoa from the concession stand.  Hubs, being gifted with the understanding of wires and technology, worked his magic and brought the beauty of the internet through our big screen TV, so that we could watch the hometown boys LIVE.

From our sofa.

I wore my yoga pants; Hubs wore his sweats; the boy wore some baggy pajama bottoms.  We were tucked in.

And then about halftime, Hubs announced, “I need some pretzel M&Ms!”  He tried to talk me into going, but the rule I have is that once the yoga pants have been donned, I no longer leave the house.  I reminded him of this long-standing way of life.  It did no good, because he kept moaning about the M&Ms, until he’d made ME crave them with a fierceness that is only equaled by a pregnant woman and thoughts of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

I changed out of the yoga pants, and, in a pair of jeans, the boy and I drove to the local  Walgreen’s for JUNK FOOD.  When we got there, I told the boy to grab whatever he wanted.  What he wanted was a caramel-filled chocolate bar.  We put that in our cart, with two bags of pretzel M&Ms, a bag of coconut M&Ms, and a bag of sunflower seeds.  The boy looked at me and asked, “Should we really be buying all of this?”  The kid, you see, was stunned, because… although I loathe the cooking… I don’t really support a cart filled with sugary junk.  I like to feed the boy HEALTHY THINGS which require LITTLE TO NO ACTUAL COOKING.

Like apples.  And bananas.

At the cash register, the boy proudly announced to the cashier, “All of this is for us to eat TONIGHT!”  The woman raised her eyebrows at me in the way which said, “I would never dream of feeding this many empty calories to MY children,” and I gave HER the look which said, “Long week!  Very tired!  We have never, ever done this before!  And Hubs made me come, and I was already in my yoga pants.” And then she shot me the look which said, “Oh!  I totally understand!  Husbands can often be troublesome house guests.”

So with CANDY and CANDY and EVEN MORE CANDY, we finished watching Small Town High kick the snot out of the visiting team, and then we watched hockey, because the Colorado Avalanche play every night of the week.

Or so it seems.

On Saturday, a bunch of cute kids got together, because my friend Alyssa was in town, and Alyssa can do amazing things with a camera.  So, we gathered up all the cousins, and Alyssa made them giggle and grin.  I was busy practicing with a new lens, which Alyssa told me how to use, but I always get confused with ISO numbers and aperture settings and shutter speeds and white balance, until I feel like I’m going to black out from sensory overload.

I popped this shot off from the sidelines.  Everyone has red eyeballs, and they look like they’re ready to celebrate Halloween EARLY.  They look like they are direct descendants of aliens.  We are hoping that we have given Alyssa enough American dollars to make sure that the shots SHE took don’t have red eyeballs.

And then we gathered up Enzo, because there was a really sweet haunted house going on at the private school where I teach PE.

It was recommended for ages eight and older, and we eventually found out why.  After standing in line, waiting for our turn and listening to the screams coming out of the gym, we saw X come out.  X is a boy from school, who Enzo and the boy know.  And X is tough.  X, in fact, is REAL tough.  And sadly, X was crying and shaking, and his mama said, “Oh, heavens!  X got a little scared in there, and we had to come out after the second room!”

The boy’s and Enzo’s eyeballs popped and their jaws dropped, and they had second thoughts about going in, because if X couldn’t make it through, they envisioned themselves dying.  Before second thoughts could be formed, though, we were shoved inside.

And the darkness and the strobe lights and the howling music, combined with the screaming and wailing and zombies grabbing your feet, and then being pushed into the surgical room where blood red Jell-O was thrown at your feet, about did the boys in.  I felt like a mother gorilla, carrying my young gorilla babies on my back, who were gripping me in death-defying squeezes.  Hubs and I kept pushing, pushing, pushing them through.  Through the potions room… Through the zombie room… Through the pitch black hallways where the strobe lights threatened to induce a full-blown seizure for me… Through all the ankle grabbing… Through the morgue… Through the surgical center… And then, quite suddenly, Hubs and I pushed the boys through the last door, and we were back outside.

They!  Had!  Made!  It!

They both let out screams of joy and fear, and they danced right there on the sidewalk, because they were now Haunted House Alumni with a badge of courage for finishing.  They put their hands to their hearts and yelled, “MY HEART IS BEATING HARD ENOUGH TO EXPLODE!!!

And then we came home, and we carved some pumpkins.

And, because they are BOYS, there was some PLAYING WITH FIRE…

(Naturally, I noticed this in the background AFTER I’d taken a close-up of the finished Jack-O’-Lantern.)

And then the boys went to bed and they asked, “Do you mind if we keep the lights turned on for a while?  Just on low?”

A good haunted house will do that to a boy.

First thing this morning, the boys were dressed up for goodness knows WHAT.  They locked themselves in the boy’s bedroom, with a handwritten sign on the door which said, “THE BOY’S AND ENZO’S LAW OFFICES.  WE ARE LOYERS.”

They are also fabulous spellers, clearly.

Eventually, clothes were changed, Enzo was taken home, and we went to church.

And then we met Tyler and Heather at Jimmy John’s for lunch, where Tyler and Hubs kept the boy mesmerized and FULLY ENTERTAINED, as they described the explosive properties of a good can of Aqua Net hairspray and how you can cut the heads off of matches, stuff them inside a bolt, thread two screws through either end of the bolt, drop said bolt off of the deck onto a concrete patio, and watch it explode and fly 100 feet into the air.

Clearly, this is the VERY BEST THING to give detailed instructions about to an ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD BOY!

When we left Jimmy John’s, the boy asked if we could stop at Home Depot and buy bolts.

The answer was a VERY FIRM NO.

Hubs whispered to him that we had PLENTY of bolts and screws at home in the garage.

I’m just afraid our family will need a good LOYER if the boy perfects this little trick.

And THAT, people, is the CliffsNotes version of the weekend at the Jedi Manor.  After an afternoon of raking leaves and scrubbing house and mumbling at the Denver Broncos and whooping in enthusiasm for the Colorado Avalanche, we’re ready to put this weekend to bed.

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