Best weekend ever

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby

From “April Rain Song,” by Langston Hughes

It’s been cold and grey and wet for three days straight, but I still maintain that it was a beautiful weekend. Because of the rain, my daughter’s soccer practice on Friday was canceled, her game on Saturday was canceled, and my son’s soccer tournament that had been scheduled for Saturday AND Sunday in Richmond was CANCELED! Each text or email announcing the cancellation of these events sent me into a paroxysm of unseemly jubilation. Theoretically speaking, (if I happened to be the kind of person to engage in embarrassing self-revelation), it’s possible that there may have been some fist-pumping, jiggety-jigging in place, and squeals of delight.

What fabulous things did I do with all of that time that was handed to me like a precious gift on a silver platter? We went to the grocery store to buy the pumpkin my oldest son needed for a school project. We went to the shoe store to buy much-needed new sneakers for the younger two. We went to the music store to get my daughter’s violin bow repaired. We went to the pet store to buy the only food that doesn’t make the dogs puke foamy yellow bile all over the carpets. (Always the carpets, never – God forbid – on the far easier to clean tile or hardwood). We took my daughter to get her hair cut. We went to Jiffy Lube. (Every 3,000 miles? More like every 10,000+ miles…). I got caught up on laundry, etc. etc. And yes, a million times YES! It was really and truly:  fabulous.

I didn’t take many photos this weekend, but I did record a couple snapshots in my mind to share with you. They are somewhat related insofar as they both involve food and the sweet, innocent thoughtfulness of children.

On Friday, the Helping Hands group I co-lead met for our first session of the year. This fall, our third and fourth grade kids are organizing a school-wide food drive for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. A friend who works at the bank came to talk to us about the problem of hunger in our own community. We discussed how hunger makes people crabby and makes it difficult to concentrate and to work or study. The most powerful moment of the talk came when she told us that the bank serves 26,000 people a month. To give us an idea of how many people that is, she had us visualize a line of people starting from downtown Charlottesville stretching all the way up Route 29 for 8 miles to the airport. This startling image made a big impression on us all. My friend was about to leave after her presentation when one of our students ran up to her and handed her a fistful of coins, all the money she had in her pocket, as a gift to the food bank. It was a lovely moment.

And then there was this moment that revealed to me that my daughter had also absorbed the message about the problem of hunger. On Sunday my husband was feeling a little grumpy and I asked my daughter what we should do to cheer him up. She suggested earnestly: “Maybe we could put a hunk of Jarlsburg (his favorite kind of cheese) under his pillow!”

Finally, I leave you with one actual snapshot from this weekend. This was taken during a brief break on Saturday, when instead of playing/watching soccer, we were checking items off our my list of errands at breakneck speed. First, observe the expressions on the faces of my husband and children. Now look very closely at my reflection in the window. Can you see the maniacal grin pasted on my face?

See? Best weekend ever!

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