I just traded vehicles with my neighbor. Here’s the thing:
We both live on the same street which is way across the Naval Air Landing Strip on the other side of town from, well, everything we need to get to.
We both work on staff at church. I with the wee Kindergartners, she with the Big Man On Campus.
We both have 3 or more children, 2 or more of which are in middle school and signed up to usher, haul equipment and perform all manner of physical labor at a Toys For Tots event tonight at 7:00, arrival time of 5:00.
We both help each other out when there’s a church event or outing. I guess it’s what one might call A Random Carpool With No Apparent Schedule–busiest mom wins, available mom drives.
So I’m Available To Drive Mom today. And I’m primed and ready.
Last Friday there was a parTAY at church for ye olde middle schoolers. Only one of said neighbor kids needed a lift. No problemo. Both of my girls had invited friends, however, and one friend had a sister who also wanted to come. Ther more the merrier, right? So I hauled 7 giggly Tweens to the bash. After the first pick up, 5 of us stopped for the mandatory gift exchange gift at our friendly neighborhood Walgreens. Neighbor Boy insisted on a Pet Store hampster box with the urgency of a woman in labor. It seems there was a PRIZE for MOST CREATIVE and he was ON IT. He hauled patootie 3 doors down to acquire the coveted hampster box with catnip mice inside. Perfect.
Stop #2 we pick up the sisters. Who also didn’t have presents for the exchange. So the 7 of them and I proceed to the friendly neighborhood Farm Fresh Grocery Store to find those Just Right gifts for random strangers. Sister 1 drops her $20 somewhere in the store, shed nary a tear (it wasn’t HER money) and proceeded to keep telling me to turn up the music she brought (’cause apparently she doesn’t share my affinity for the Carpenters, and the Twilight soundtrack is SO November 2008). About this time I realize that the 4 dozen cookies I was asked to bring are still sitting on my kitchen counter on the other side of the Naval Air Base and the party STARTED THREE MINUTES AGO! Middle-schoolers know nothing about being “fashionably late.” So I dump them off, reveling in the quiet. The hours pass too quickly and before I know it, they are scrambling back in like puppies. Middle-schoolers know NOTHING about “same seats.” Each with their newly aquired presents from the swap. A good time was had by all, though we can all testify that just because a vehicle boasts it CAN seat 8, doesn’t necessarily mean it SHOULD. Especially if 7 of the 8 are rapidly growing even as we trek across town.
Tonight is round 2.
Tonight is the Big Christmas Concert in town. The GOC of Virginia Beach, I’m only guesstimating, since I haven’t seen the concert yet. Because it is a Toys For Tots event, and admission is an unwrapped toy, this gang will be hauling presents to the stage, and then onto the truck for delivery at concert’s end. As I mentioned before, they need to be there at 5:00. Neighbor Mom is working for the man until 4:00 then arriving at the concert as a Lead Usher so no time to drive across town on the other side of the Naval Air Base to retrieve her 3 kids. So she asked me to bring them along with my 4 and she sweetened the deal with her Sequoia. Which REALLY DOES seat 8. Comfortably. With room to spare.
So she’ll be Bee Boppin around town in the Too Laaaaate Pilot
while I’m living large in the Mac Daddy Toyota.
You gotta love a neighbor who not only trusts you with her kids, but her WHEELS! You can bet I’ll be driving the speed limit today and jammin on the XM. And no, I will NOT turn the music up. Unless Karen’s singing.
From Atlantic to Pacific/
Gee, the traffic is terrific!