The makings of a magical day

October 5, 2013


It started out as a laid back day in which my two college student sons and I put everything aside in order to do nothing except spend time together.

It ended up with us not hitting our beds until 2:30 a.m. the next morning, the boys being so sore they could barely move, and the bathtub needing to be scrubbed because the bottom of it was black.

As I have said on so many occasions in my life, I can explain.

Last Saturday started with homemade sausage biscuits and juice, followed by a drive in the drizzle to Fort Worth. We browsed in a book store, then headed to the Botanic Garden.

Just as we walked into the Japanese Gardens, it started to sprinkle again. Then it started to rain.

We ducked into a wooden shelter by the idyllic Japanese pond and sat on benches. We were just inches from orange Imperial Carp and big turtles that swam lazily by. Brilliantly colored ducks glided past.

This was the backdrop as we talked and talked while the autumn rain fell.

It was good. Very good.

When the rain stopped, we started walking again. As we approached a machine to purchase food for the Imperial Carp (or Koi), we spotted a raccoon standing on his hind legs, scrapping out a few stray pellets that had been left behind after someone had put in a quarter.

We stopped and watched, snapping photos with our cell phones. He hissed at us, but we didn’t take it personally.

On our way out, we paused to watch a wedding party assembling outside the public restrooms. The children – two little boys, and two little girls – were cherubic. The smallest girl had purple ribbons tied around her bare feet to simulate sandals. The bridesmaids dresses were aubergine.

It was good. Very good.

We went to a burger place. The oldest son got three double-meat cheeseburgers. The youngest got two. I got one. We all got fries. We talked about Thanksgiving. And Christmas.

And it was good. Very good.

We headed to Hangman’s House of Horrors. Partly work, partly fun. I was doing interviews for a story, but knew the boys would love revisiting a favorite “haunt.”

Turned out, volunteer coordinator Lisa Kennedy was in need of two flying monkeys. She was in luck. I had given birth to two.

I went through the haunted house alone, though as part of a group. In one dark room, I clutched my reporter’s notebook as I was assailed by flying monkeys.

The evening went later than planned. At 12:30 a.m., I watched my sons as they stood in front of a lighted makeup mirror, dipping paper towels into jars of cold cream in an attempt to remove at least some of the heavy black make-up and “guy liner.”

Though it was late and the volunteers had worked hard to raise money for charity, they were energized and happy, enjoying each other’s company. Someone plugged in a boom box and turned the volume way up. As Robin Thicke sang “We Can’t Stop,” volunteers – some still in costume, some not – began to dance.

We arrived back home at 1:30. The boys were exhausted and sore from having spent hours scaling walls and jumping at people.

By the time we each had a shower and collapsed into our beds, the bathtub was in the afore-mentioned state.

And it was good. Very good.

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