Friday, July 22, 2005

The Power's Out! And My Pants are Aflame!

Last night I revised my roster for Vacation Bible School, wrote a letter for distribution to parents and compiled a list of volunteers for the church bulletin. I tucked those papers into my leather bag, ready to take with me this morning at 8:30 a.m.

When I woke up this morning, the room seemed strangely dim. After brushing the cobwebs out of my hair and rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I cracked open the bathroom window to find rain, rain, rain everywhere. Rain? We rely upon this week in July to be traditionally rain-free! Never in my four years of running VBS have we had rain. Did I mention that the game session is run outdoors?


When I arrived at church, I pulled the papers from my bag that needed photocopying. The letter--the one I needed 65 copies of to distribute to parents as they signed in their kids--yes, that letter, was missing. I searched, double-searched, and searched again. No letter. I called my husband and he assured me he found the letter on my desk. I'd have to go back and pick it up.

But first, to sign in all eighty children. As I sat greeting parents the most unexpected thing happened. The power went out.

Someone reported that they'd seen a crashed car, a broken utility pole, and downed power lines trapping the driver of the car inside. We figured it would take all day for the power to be restored. A call to the utility company confirmed a large area of power outages.

My fabulous teenage song leader began leading the children in the songs they've sung all week. Someone began to hunt for batteries to power a portable CD player. I realized we'd need a portable DVD player for the theater area. I called home to ask my husband to ready ours for pick-up, then ran home and picked up the paper I'd forgotten and the DVD player. Of course, I couldn't photocopy the letter without electricity.

And as it turned out, the DVD was stuck in the regular DVD player. Without power, we couldn't get it out.

I called a couple of churches, located a DVD we could borrow and prepared to go pick it up. And then, the unexpected happened. The power came back on.

And the rain stopped.

And eighty-two children enjoyed their final day of Vacation Bible School. Afterwards, to celebrate, I drove my kids to McDonald's before going home. Big mistake. The intersection where the car had crashed into the power pole was still blocked. Four utility trucks worked to replace the pole while several police cars blocked the road and officers directed traffic. McDonald's couldn't give us pop with fizz or a milkshake.

And YoungestBoy really wanted to dip his fries into a milkshake. I shrugged off his disappointment with a glib promise to make milkshakes at home. Later.

Late in the afternoon, while I was helping my husband pack for his business trip, YoungestBoy appeared in the room. With stern determination he said, "Mom, do you want to know the new name I have for you?"

Puzzled, I turned to him. "What?" I said.

"Liar, liar, pants on fire!" he said. I did not laugh, but I wanted to. "You said you were going to make milkshakes and YOU . . . DID . . . NOT!" he proclaimed.

I said, "Is this day over?"

He said, "No."

And I said, "Well, there you go." And there he went.

My husband chuckled and then I laughed, too. Liar, liar, pants on fire! The might sound disrespectful to some, but when delivered with the righteous indignation a rosy-cheeked seven-year old can muster up, it amuses me. He amuses me. He saunters through life with such good cheer and confidence that it makes my heart glad.

Even if I am Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.

In other, less entertaining news, we dropped off my husband at the bus stop (to take an airport shuttle) and went directly to the pool. At seventy-five degrees with a light breeze, the late afternoon was perfection. Babygirl had the pool to herself and danced and twirled and floated around. I wanted it to last forever--the sun on my arms, her crooked smile, the chlorine-blue water--and yet my head hurt and I was looking forward to her bedtime, too.

And now, the moment is gone--poof--and she's asleep and the house is quiet except for the hum of the computer fan. Tonight I'll pretend that I can sleep in, but the truth is that Babygirl will be awake around 7:00 a.m., ready for action, or at least ready for Cheerios. And so it goes.


Blogger Catharine said...

"Newsflash -- Today, a 3-alarm fire broke out in Mel's pants. Three units were needed to battle the blaze, which was finally contained, with only a small amount of permanent damage. Police suspect arson."

The upside? Aren't those firemen just the cutest thing?



6:12 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Well now. You have given me NEW things to worry about. No power.

YOU can now proudly sport your 'I Survived Bible School' pin.

It's handy to live right next door to the church. Even so, I whine when I have run home and grab whatever it is I forgot this time.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Did the little guy ever get milkshake?! :-S (Liar, liar..)

7:41 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

I don't think he sounds disrespectful at all...:) He sounds adorable. Remember when a milkshake was THAT important? He probably thought of nothing else for cute...

8:19 AM  
Blogger Diddy-Win said...

...poof, the moment was gone....
I was just dreaming yesterday what I would give for just ONE more day of their childhood that I could rock them and sing....just one more time.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I've been called similar names with similar gusto. Before I had kids, I remember hearing some of the things kids called their parents and being completely horrified. Now I brush it off and move on. Ya gotta pick your battles.

Congrats on surviving VBS.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Julana said...

That's the best title yet. Got me reading.
Your son was funny and right.
I can't believe how much you fit into a day. And still have time to blog.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Cuppa said...

Oh, you are HOT STUFF! Better have a cool milkshake to cool down.

You last day at VBS started off in a memorable I must say. What a hoot.

6:03 PM  

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