It's the side effect of having four kids, and a lot of ambition.
Awhile ago, JB and I set a goal of going to as many concerts as we could in a year—with a minimum of one per month.
We hope to see most of them together, but last night's choice was more suited to me.
Luckily, I have cousins with great musical taste. So we made a plan to meet up and take in the show.
Of course, getting there takes up a good chunk of brain power, especially when a late night trip to the city is added to a long work/school day.
We have a system around here—whichever parent has more than two kids in their charge, gets the minivan. Even with its mess and funky smells, the minivan is my preferred vehicle. Inside its automatic doors, we hoard non-perishable food, extra clothes, and random reading material. And, best of all, it has a built-in and well-used cellphone charger.
Let's back track. I had spent the entire day on a grade one field trip, and had barely enough time to get home and fire off some work-related emails before running to the bus stop to meet the kids.
I didn't bother to charge my almost dead cellphone, thinking I'd be able to do it during my drive in. Except, JB's car doesn't do that. Oops.
I squeezed into a spot on a residential street and, after sitting in the car trying to make sense of the parking signs, decided to take my chances. I pushed my luck even further by using up some battery power to post the above update.
Little Italy was beautiful—the patios were overflowing with relaxed diners, and my cousins and I enjoyed some deep-fried pizza cones and gelato.
My grandmother had her last three children (all girls) really close together, with the last two being identical twins. My mom is the oldest of the trio, and all of them used similar TIger-mom parenting styles when raising their children.
We spent a lot of time together as kids, and last night we were one daughter from each mom.
We stepped out into the cool night, chatting about getting home to bed to get some rest for the work day ahead, and joked about how I'd run the rest of my battery out by snapping a couple of photos during the show.
I reached into my bag, as they were conspiring to walk me to my car, and noticed there weren't any keys. The youngest of us took charge, as I imagined myself spending the night on a sidewalk. She went back into the venue and had the manager look around. Nothing.
Meanwhile, my other cousin was trying to reach the restaurant where we had dinner, while I stood helpless and wishing I had driven the minivan.
When it was finally determined that I had either dropped the keys somewhere random or (OMG) left them in the parked car, we took off running.
There were several whoops of relief when we saw the car was still there. And I laughed (with a dash of hysteria) remembering how worried I had been about a parking ticket. Peanuts, at this point.
Using an amazing flashlight app on one of the fully-charged phones (waaaaaah), we found the keys. They were sitting inside the car—the very same car I had smugly locked with the manual door button.
We had to call a tow truck. Not on my phone, of course, though I did use the remaining one percent charge to let JB know what was going on, and to hear his eyeroll through the phone.
My cousins insisted on staying with me (what with the dark night and dead phone) and the three of us were able to spend some extra time together: waiting for the tow truck, holding flashlights, and cheering as our rescuer used mini airbags and really long hooks to lift the keys up and onto the seat so the fob could be pressed and the doors unlocked. It was really MacGyver.
We finally said our good byes just before midnight, and as I apologized for keeping them up so late and thanked them for staying with me, I was met with an honest and straightfoward statement of fact:
All of our mothers would lose it if we didn't!!!
She was right—it's how they raised us.
Blood is thicker than anything else.