Friday afternoon I had a little kitchen accident. I won’t bore you with the details because there isn’t a chance in the world that one of the details would make me look smart or competent. This was day three, and I assure you that day four is no better.
When you walk around town with a black eye everyone asks how it happens. I’ve found that looking people dead in the eye, shrugging and saying “bar brawl” unnerves them. They all look at you in disbelief and say, “Really?” I reply, “No” and smile and everyone laughs. They then tell me I’m funny and forget to ask what happened which saves me a small amount of humiliation. Small. I’ve also found that telling our friends that Mr. G. punched me was not met with laughter, but rather anger. Maybe I’m not all that funny? Perhaps you can help me with a better story for the shiner?
Since Mr. G. was traveling on Friday I let Jane have friends sleep over. I left school with three girls and Alexander and went straight home to knock myself out. I was so frustrated that I flung $40 at the kids and sent them to the diner around the corner to go have French fries and milkshakes for an afterschool snack. I told them to leave a 15% tip but only 10% if the waitress wasn’t nice to them because they’re kids.
After my meltdown my Mom and Stepdad (Doc) came over for dinner and I proceeded to order out. We got California Chicken Café because with Mr. G. still out of town we have to eat all the food he hates in a hurry. Alexander and Doc played catch in the backyard for about 843 hours. I don’t know what it is about boys and men that they can throw a ball back and forth and never tire of it.
The girls were extra sweet to Alexander so when they went upstairs at 10pm I stayed downstairs and enjoyed some time alone (on twitter…of course). When I headed upstairs at 10.30 the three girls were in Jane’s room gathered around a computer and all the lights were on on Alexander’s room but he was sound asleep. I guess it was a longer day for him than I’d realized.
Saturday morning was a whirlwind of friends popping in from out of town, Jane playing soccer and Alexander playing baseball. Jane’s two friends ran all over town with us because I was going to take them to the Family Day Picnic. The Family Day Picnic is this massive picnic at a camp that has waterslides, dunk tanks, a soda stand, swimming pools, foam machines and more. It’s what you’d see when Hollywood makes a corporate picnic, actually, it’s what you have seen when there’s a picnic on TV. The site is often used for TV and film.
As we were heading out the door Mr. G. called, his plane had landed. We waited so that Mr. G. could join us at the picnic. Apparently I was out to punish my husband. He lasted approximately seven minutes. At $35 a person that brought us to $5 a minute and the most expensive picnic ever attended by a Gottlieb. We went and had a nice lunch together.
I returned to the picnic and my two kids plus three extras. Belted six of us into a car that seats five and prayed like hell that my illegally tinted windows were illegally tinted dark enough.
Naturally three of the four freeway lanes were closed and our twenty minute drive turned into an hour and fifteen. I arrived home with too many children and the shakes.
I think we all collapsed Saturday night after the three friends had been picked up by their parents. Sunday morning Jane and I got up early so I could take her surfing. After she’d enjoyed surf camp so much a there’d been a groupon for surf lessons. Since it was reasonably priced I snatched one up. I had a beach bag ready to go and I was ready to spend a morning sitting on the beach watching my daughter surf.
No. Such. Luck.
Surf lessons are limited to three surfers per instructor and Jane was paired with two adorable twenty somethings who kept calling me “Mom” and squealing. It’s entirely possible that Jane noticed that I was about to deck one of them when she begged me to surf with her. I walked back into the surf shack and they found another instructor who took us out.
Jane and I had a lot of fun on our longboards. There was no sand and we were surfing over rocks in Malibu so we paddled where we might otherwise have walked with our boards. While I was remembering how to pop up Jane was hanging ten and riding every dinky wave that came her way. After about an hour I decided to actually USE our lesson and I let the instructor set me up for waves and I stopped paddling.
I’d forgotten how free you feel on the water. Even in a crappy crowded bay surrounded by fisherman and Euro tourists I felt free. I didn’t think about anyone, or anything I just thought about getting in front of a breaking wave and letting the force of the ocean move me. When I would come to rest near the shore I’d lay myself down on the longboard and watch my daughter’s face glow as she caught wave after wave after wave. She’d hurry back for another ride indiscriminately loving them all.
We surf a little like we do everything else in life. She does it her way and I do it mine.