Now, I have a lot to tell you; many many adventures. But I also have a van to unload, 4 children who think we are still on central time, and a husband who brought back 3 bins of "treasures" from his childhood home that I have to find places for in this home. Therefore, I will save most of my sagas for later and just tell you one tiny tale.
At one point in our journey, we attended the party of one of Awkward Mom's oldest allies; The Poetic Playwright. He is setting off on a journey of his own (graduate school) and was holding a goodbye party. We happened to be in town to see him off, which was great. But, of course, I have to make things a touch awkward.
Now, this was decidedly an adult party. As the Poetic Playwright is an adult, this seems rather natural. I had fully intended to pop by the Poetic Playwright's place well before the party time of 8 p.m., give him our gift, chat a little, and leave before the children turned into gremlins. For a wide variety of reasons, this did not happen, and we pulled up in front of the Poetic Playwright's apartment at 8:25 p.m. Gremlins in tow.
We actually had to wake 3 of the children just to walk in the building. Super Baby snuggled into his baby wrap and went back to sleep. Super Toddler popped into Awkward Dad's arms and went back to sleep. Super Kindergartner zombie-walked to the door with hate in his eyes and lead in his legs. And Super Preschooler? Well, Super Preschooler danced up the walkway with a toy in his hand, a skip in his step, and a song in his heart. He's always been a bit of a night owl.
We stumble into the happening and are greeted with dead silence. OK, well, not Awkward Dad. Awkward Dad is greeting with wild abandon by a friend he hasn't seen in ages and they disappear to talk music and happily slap each other on the back and dude-hug in the kitchen. Super Kindergartner rolls his eyes at the whole scene, loudly dubs it "totally an adult party," and wanders off in search of anyone who will talk to him about Angry Birds. Super Toddler slips out of Awkward Dad's arms, finds the food, and starts shoving chips into her mouth. I am pretty sure she is still asleep. This leaves me standing in the middle of a circle of impossibly cool theater folks who were probably having a very animated and cheerful conversation before I landed in their midst wearing a sleeping baby and holding the hand of a blond little boy who is merrily opening and closing the little ball in his other hand. They look at me. I look at them. All the insecure feelings about not fitting in and being a total loser rise up in my throat and block anything halfway intelligent from coming out. I continue to stare around, blinking occasionally and trying not to hyperventilate.
Super Preschooler either isn't aware of this tension, or is and decides to fix it. He squeezes my hand once and then lets it go, before sauntering into the middle of this adult circle, gently tossing his little ball up and down in his hand. He lands center stage and looks around, making eye contact with everyone in the room, one at a time, allowing the anticipation to build to a fever pitch, before gleefully shouting, "Hey! Look at this!" and hurling the little ball straight at the wall. It seems to explode but it merely pops open to reveal the little robot inside, rolls around a little, and lands at Super Preschooler's feet. He scoops it up, grins at his flabbergasted yet delighted audience, pronounces the word "transform!" in his best magician's voice, and runs down the hallway to find his brother. I stare after him for a second before turning back to the smiles pointed at me and the many kind and welcoming "how-old-is-hes" and "what-an-adorable-childs" and "where-do-I-get-one-of-those-transformers!"