Monday, June 15, 2009

A Piece of My Mind...*gulp*

Today was a pretty fine day, all things considered. There was grumpiness at work, but I was able to escape to attend our kindergartner's farewell performance, which was a hoot. Sixty almost-first-graders were assembled on stage for a repertoire of songs, wiggling and poking one another until it was time to trill. When I saw our daughter's teacher lug in the record player, I thought, Rad. There's some tradition at work here.

Tradition probably also included the left half of kindergartners on stage being one whole verse ahead of their peers to the right, like they were singing in the round. Only not quite.

Later that evening, we celebrated the last day of school by taking over a neighborhood Italian restaurant: five families, fourteen children. The joint had bay windows that jutted out into the sidewalk, and our kids danced on those "stages," catching passersby off guard with what looked like a little innocent version of Amsterdam's Red Light District.

We took home two tired but jubilant, ice-cream-sticky children who were nearing meltdown. Just as we had shushed the three-year-old for what we hoped was the final time, the doorbell rang. Our SUPER LOUD doorbell. Which makes the dog bark madly. Which makes my ears ring. We've even taped over it to discourage zealous solicitors, but they are the only ones who actually push the damn button.

"Who IS that?" I hissed to my husband. "Seriously. I am going to go give Whoever It Is a piece of my mind!" I marched off to the door to sweet friend waiting on the doorstep with a bag of her famously delicious chocolate chip cookies. Still warm.

This would be the same sweet friend who called me once while we were at our daughter's Elementary School Open House, and I answered the phone and said, "Hey, can I call you back? We're in the middle of a school function." "Sure," she replied.

I found out later she was in the parking lot of Trader Joe's, bleeding. She had dropped a glass jug of water onto her foot. She needed help right there in the parking lot, and she needed help picking up her children, since she would be a while. But I was busy. You know, at a school function. Too busy to find out why she even called.

I learned an important lesson from my friend that night, which is: Always find out why they're calling. And then, if you don't like the sight of blood, explain that you're busy.


But seriously.

Now my sweet friend has taught me another lesson, which I believe the Bible told me so once upon a time (Hebrews 13:2): Be careful how you treat strangers, or you might be entertaining angels unawares (bearing cookies).

So, thank you, my angel friend: a timely reminder for patience and benefit of the doubt.

As for the three-year-old, let's hope we're not tempted to offer her to the next non-cookie-offering, doorbell-ringing salesperson.


me said...

I think in the recesses of my brain, I knew you had a "do not ring" sign taped over your doorbell, but it was too dark to see as I stood there. Knowing the time, I considered leaving the warm cookies on your doorstep and calling later, but I figured that your urban menagerie might get to them before I could ring you. Thanks for welcoming them and me, anyway.

fer said...

So glad you rang the doorbell after all :)