The Post I Wrote on Thursday (Otherwise Known as, “I Couldn’t Come Up With a Title”)

Yesterday afternoon, I wrapped a band around my Curly Hair Victory, smashed a pink pall cap on top of it all, and we watched some soccer in the wind which blew Dorothy and Toto away.  My lips chapped in the breeze, my contacts dried out to little plastic medallions that were sharp enough to scrape my irises plum off, my ear canals filled up with dust from the nearby parking lot, and my days of being warm were completely over.

Welcome to spring soccer in Small Town, USA.

No matter.

We cheered the boy on as he attacked the soccer ball with gusto and some healthy 4th grade aggression, and I dreamed of a spot on this great globe where the wind never blows and the temperature never migrates out of its controlled area of 40 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, because I’ve come to terms with the simple fact that I don’t like to be cold, and I most certainly don’t like to be hot.

I like to be warm.  Warm without wind.

After the Texas Longhorns Fighting Tigers wrapped their soccer game up, we endured a quick and dirty dinner, which included me hanging my head out of the Suburban window and shouting, “And he doesn’t want any onions on the cheeseburger!”

As far as the boy is concerned, Onions and Arsenic are in the same food group.

After inhaling dinner, Hubs and the boy and I zipped down the highway for a few miles, because Hubs had  promised our friend, Chris, that he’d help carry in some kitchen countertops last night.

Chris and his darling wife, Becki, are building a house.  Themselves. And after enduring THAT process for two years over here at the Jedi Manor, I have some enormous sympathies for Chris and Becki, but mostly I just throw back my head and cackle, as I scream out, “Our time in the prison camp of House Building is PLUM OVER!!”

Last night, Becki’s new soapstone counters were coming in.  It took eleven men and a boat filled with grunting and shouts of “Hang on a minute!” and barks of “Do you have it?” and feet shuffling in little baby steps, but the kitchen island’s countertop (which has the same amount of acreage as West Virginia) is in place.  While the big boys were groaning and grunting and grimacing, Becki and Liz and I simply stayed out of the way and hollered words of encouragement, like, “Lift with your legs!  Not your backs!”

We three girls were extremely helpful.

And while the men had some malted beverages in the name of a “LOOK!  I CARRIED A HEAVY COUNTERTOP WITHOUT SNAPPING MY BACK IN HALF” victory celebration, I stood in Becki’s laundry room and felt the evilness of COVETING come upon me.

Oh, people.  I have a fantastic laundry room.  I do.  And I love it.  But Becki is about to have herself a LAUNDRY COMMAND CENTER, and last night, as I stood in the almost-all-finished-now space, I could easily see myself being the Queen of such a Laundry Command Center.

And that’s when I realized that I am genuinely old, because my twenty-year-old self would never have coveted a laundry room or a stainless steel, computerized, front-loading washer and dryer.  My twenty-year-old self simply wouldn’t have been able to envision anything beyond the apartment complex’s laundry room with the beat-up washer that clanged and banged and carried on, but which suited me just fine at the time, because laundry was a chore that I rarely invested much thought in.

No matter.

The real treat of the evening is simply this.

I have known Chris’s sister, Liz, since she was in early elementary school, and Chris and I were in high school.  Liz is a honey.  And last Tuesday, Liz and her husband welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their lives.  And last night, Liz had her week-old baby with her, while her husband helped grunt beneath the weight of the kitchen countertop.  As can be expected, I wasted zero time in swiping that baby away from Liz, and I squeezed her, and rocked her, and smooched her, and then I begged Liz to reconsider life without children and to give me her baby.

I think it goes without saying that Liz said, “No.”

But I did enjoy my time rocking that new baby thoroughly while Becki and Liz and I chatted at 290 miles an hour, and played us some verbal catch-up, because Becki has been off the radar screen with Housebuilding 101.   Instead of snuggling in with me at Starbucks, Becki has been romancing three thousand miles of baseboard and a big jug of varnish.

Oh,  yeah.  Guess who else enjoyed holding the new baby?

Eventually,  Becki’s girls, Kate and Mallory, swiped their new cousin away from the boy, and the three of them sat together in front of that brand-spanking new fireplace and cuddled Baby Charlie.  They made sure she was wrapped up warm enough.  They straightened her pink hat.  They said things to one another like, “You’ve had her long enough now!  It’s my turn to hold Charlie!”

And that’s when Becki and I sighed and said, “Remember when OUR kids were that tiny?”

And we immediately started humming the chorus to Jim Croce’s song, “Time in a Bottle.”

Because it wasn’t that long ago when Kate was 4, and the boy was 3, and Mallory was 2.

I hope y’all will excuse me now, while I go get a box of Kleenex and sing the entire song of “Time in a Bottle.” Those tiny little babies just grow up way too fast!

Happy Thursday night!

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