Shortly after I started SOAM, Elaine informed me that when we went to BlogHer together we could share a hotel room with Sonja. I thought that sounded fabulous. So I decided to go figure out who Sonja was.
Over the years we’ve gotten to know each other through our blogs and on Flickr and, more recently, on Facebook. When Bethany moved here, she met Sonja in person several times, but for some reason Sonja and I were never able to make it to the same place at the same time. She began to wonder if we lived in alternate universes.
Undaunted by Fate’s attempts to keep us apart, she invited my kids and I up to visit her and attend a Holistic Moms Network meeting about homeschooling. We jumped at the chance and last Thursday I loaded my kids into the car and drove two hours northish to where the temperatures exceeded 100 degrees (I didn’t believe such a temperature could exist in nature, but there it was, existing).
We showed up while Noah was napping and so Elliott took the chance to retell to Sonja the entire original Star Wars trilogy and then he raided her game cabinet, first playing checkers, then Scrabble. There was a time when that child was shy, but it’s all gone now.
After joining Sonja’s husband for a quick dinner of sandwiches (and during which my son bossed everyone around – at least he’s cute) we headed out to the homeschooling meeting. The sky was heavy with clouds, thunder was rumbling in the distance, and there was almost rain, even. The drops felt so refreshing in the heavy heat of the evening. I don’t mind humidity, and despite all my claims of how I don’t do heat, I wasn’t overly uncomfortable while we were there. But, as Sonja pointed out, that might be because I got to go home the following day (and, sure enough, I sit here in the chilly sea breeze with temps in the 60’s. but I’m not bragging).
After what felt like far too short of a night, we woke up to hot coffee and pancakes that Sonja made herself, like, actually on the stove, and not in a toaster like the frozen ones I “make”. It was possibly the best breakfast ever. And my kids have been begging me for pancakes ever since.
The kids played for awhile (Elliott insisted on the other Scrabble this time, which turned out to be German and had, according to him, “weird letters”). Margie and Noah played in the back yard, and after awhile Elliott joined them. At some point (I think it was shortly after the Dead Lizard Incident) all the kids came inside and became increasingly nutty so Sonja declared it Time To Leave for the playground.
Her town has these very cool playgrounds that have little wading pools, just ankle deep. So we put the kids in swimsuits, slathered them in sunscreen, and played on the merry-go-round until the lifeguard came to fill the pool. We had migrated back to the picnic blanket when Margie sat down next to me and very calmly told me the lifeguard would not let her in because she was too old. Once it was out of her mouth the reality of it seemed to hit her and she started crying (and if you know my daughter, she cries loudly). Most rules for playgrounds and pools I understand – I never allow my kids to run or get overly silly around pools, for instance. But this one was a load of shit. There were three small children in the pool and Margie and one other boy (both of whom had younger siblings playing in the water) were the only older kids wanting to get in. We were all pretty irritated by this, but the lifeguard refused to budge on her rule. Margie asked me if I’d allow her to go in anyway, and, frankly, I really couldn’t see the point in saying no, although I pointed out that she may get reprimanded by the lifeguard. And so she practiced a little civil disobedience. The lifeguard was watching her but never said anything. I’m not sure if it’s because it was obvious I’d given permission, or if it’s because she was starting to rethink the rule, or maybe just because she saw us packing up and figured we’d be gone soon anyway.
It was getting late for us so we grabbed a quick lunch at In-n-Out (thank God my kids both like hamburgers now – I do believe this completes my life) before packing up to head back home. We took one group shot before we left. And by “one” I mean “about twenty with each camera”. My kids were pretty pissed to have to leave and as we pulled out of the driveway, they both literally broke out in loud wails. The got along so well with Noah, and Sonja is such an easy person to be around (even though I’m shy and generally nervous around other humans, I felt comfortable with her) that I hope we get to see them again soon. At least before four more years have gone by.