Take a whiff. You smell that? Fresh blueberry muffins. They’re cooling before they get a salted vanilla glaze. I’ve got ribs drying on the rack before I rub them down to marinate all morning. And the coffee’s brewing. I actually measured it carefully today instead of just dumping half a can of grounds in and hoping the pot won’t disintegrate.
“Whoa now, Bethie. You…you…MEASURED the coffee? Like real people do?”
Yep! Sure did!
“What’s the occasion?”
Why, I’m glad you asked. Today just so happens to be… Family Holiday!
…hey. Stop flipping through your calendar in a panic and come back here. You didn’t have a brain fart and forget to buy someone a gift. You won’t find Family Holiday in any calendar, because it’s completely made up by us.
We’re a blended family. His, mine, ours. You know, 80’s sitcom fodder. When we were a newly formed herd, and the teens weren’t even close to being teens, there was some tension amongst the ranks. Shocking, huh? Turns out “Insta-family” takes a bit more work than simply adding water (still waiting for the class action suit against those 80’s sitcoms and their lies, btw).
One day after a particularly trying he said/he said/nuh-uh/yes-suh battle between the trio, my guy saw some toys on clearance at work. He bought them, then came home and we put our heads together and decided to make a whole day of it. A special day, that only members of our family could celebrate.
And thus, Family Holiday was born.
Corny? Yep. Desperate? More than a little…at first. We really stressed the fact that the kids would now be raised as brothers, as family. Though I’d like to say that was enough to cement the bonds of brotherhood, I am not a good enough author to make that lie sound even remotely believable.
However, it did give them a fun day, and it was a fun day that no one else on the planet got to have. Their very own holiday. All they had to do to be qualified to celebrate was to be part of the family. And the next year, we made it better. We added some activities and prizes…more the year after…yada yada…here we are. I fully intend to keep it going, too, even when they finish growing up and moving out. I’ve done a lotta screwing up as a parent, but this is one thing I think was a pretty good idea.
This year we’ve got to plan around work schedules, so it’ll be an afternoon event. I got a bunch of lame outdoor activities that they haven’t played in years. The young pup is thrilled. He’s still at the right age for the bubbles and badminton and water balloons. The older kids have shunned those baby activities for a couple years. But, with the teens getting older, they are re-entering the age of wanting to do those things again. They’re eager to hold on to what is probably the last real “kid” summer for the two oldest ones.
I also got a bunch of those long balloons. I’m thinking…balloon animal contest. And I got these sponge ball slingshots. You wet the sponge and let ‘er rip! *SPLAT*
“Uh…I think you may just have regrets at the end of the day, Bethie.”
It’s not really a holiday unless you end the day with a migraine! Right?
Besides, I’m expecting the beef-handed teens to rage quit balloon animal-ing, which I would find hilarious. Shouldn’t be too much squeaky-popping before they’re sick of it.
I also got some regular balloons. The young pup won’t remember, but another thing I used to do for the yet-to-gel Three Musketeers was randomly buy a pack of balloons at the dollar store and blow them all up when the boys were napping or at school. We called it Balloon Party, and I’d do it every couple months. One dollar and a good set of ear plugs, and the afternoon that *could* have been bickering and trying was turned into a joyous cacophony of laughter and frizzy hair.
I have been getting nostalgic as well. They aren’t the only ones who realize they’re getting too big too fast and will soon have lives away from me! I’m thinking that when the teens are at work or upstairs getting angry because the game is once again cheating on their fifth play through of Skyrim, I’ll break out the air compressor and make a surprise Balloon Party.
…hm. Just had a thought. We did not have a cat when we used to do Balloon Party.
This should be interesting.
We’re breaking out the ice cream maker. It’s my son’s, the 14 year-old. He won it as his prize for winning the math bee in 8th grade. He had his pick of any reasonably priced item, and he chose and ice cream maker. Now, I didn’t complain, not one bit! But, you gotta admit, it’s a bit odd of a choice for a 12 year old, right?
Ice cream. Ribs on the grill. I thought of corn on the cob, but holy mackerel is it pricey! They wanted corn on the cob and burgers. But there was a really good deal on ribs, and I just couldn’t swing burgers and corn. The way things are going, I don’t know if we’ll get burger cookout at all this summer.
I’m going to do it.
I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I must.
When I was a kid…
” *groan* ”
…actually, scratch that. We don’t even have to go that far back. When my teens were kids, I could get hamburger for about a buck a pound and paid a couple bucks for a dozen ears of corn. You know what the stores are advertising those items at this week? Burger at $4.29/lb, and corn on the cob for $6/dozen. And that’s on special! Why aren’t burgers and corn on the cob still cheap eats? It makes no sense, folks. I thought this was America!?
Oh. Oh, yeah. Heh. Sorry. Didn’t really mean to get on a soap box today. I just stood in the grocery store yesterday and it floored me that it would be cheaper to do a spare rib BBQ than classic burgers. Tirade over.
So it’s a holiday here in the afternoon. Some finishing work on the car this morning before the relaxing fun. Did I mention that we got those firework poppers? You know, the ones you pull the string and a blob of confetti shoots out the end? We saw them at the grocery store and they were dirt cheap. Snappers, too.
Remember snappers? They’re tiny little sperm-shaped paper packets that have a few rocks and a couple grains of gun powder in them that make an oddly satisfying snap when you throw them on the ground. Or at someone’s ass.
Here. Let me refresh your memory. I scanned in the actual box because you NEED to see this:
Is that not the most amazing box you’ve ever seen? I love everything that’s wrong with it. “It’s rappin’, it’s snappin’, it’s what’s hapnin’…” GUG. Cannot stop saying that!
And then the monster…I get it. The brand is “Monster Snaps”. But why the mohawk and drinking straw hairdo? Wouldn’t one or the other have sufficed? And can we just talk about those fingernails please? And those jorts. THOSE JORTS. And what the hell is up with his nicely tied sneakers? I’m sorry, but if I’m going for a kickass monster, I’m not looking for one with Lee press on nails and pristine sneakers. Or a beer gut that hangs over jorts.
I love it.
I love this box.
And I’m not just saying it. I legitimately ONLY bought these particular kinds of snappers so I could have the box to put on my fridge after the fun of snapping is over.
So that’s the story for today. A bit of work, then a lot of fun. I honestly cannot think of a better way to spend a Sunday.
Thus concludes a Morning Musing for Family Holiday 2015. I hope you all have a good day, even if you can’t be eating ribs and twisting epic balloon animals like us. Well, you *could*. Maybe your family needs a holiday, too.