It was about 6:30 in the evening and we’d just finished the first long, relaxing family dinner in what felt like months. As the dog circled the table like Jaws looking for any crumbs that may have fallen to the floor, my little party of four just kind of sat there quietly waiting for someone to speak next. The kids kept moving back and forth from my face to The Wife’s in anticipation of direction. We sat… and we sat… and we sat…. till they finally asked….
“So…ummmm…what….do…..we do now?”
If you open the Calendar app on my phone right now and scroll around for the last few months, you’ll see it’s sprinkled with more random colors than a Funfetti Cupcake. Church. Volleyball. Work. Rehearsal. Girl Scouts. Meeting. Doctor’s Appointments. Birthday Parties. Choir. Horseback Riding. Conference. Day after day… week after week… every single little box showed at least a splash of color. That is… except for one.
Like an oasis in a desert of commitments, sitting alone in this sea of colors was a lone empty square under the label “April 30th”. Perhaps the planets had aligned. Perhaps the end of days was near. Through no conscious doing of our own… it just kind of happened organically.
We had a free evening.
The kids sat there with a strange blend of confusion and cautious optimism on their faces. Dinner after 6:00p was already a strange occurrence. They’d grown accustomed to rushing through a family meal at whatever time we could fit it in before rushing to the next obligation. This… this was even stranger. Dinner was over… and it wasn’t immediately followed with a direction to “go get your this-a-ma-jobbie so we can make it to wheres-a-ma-callit on-time.” Well, that just didn’t make sense.
Finally my youngest stood up and said, “Well… I guess…. I’ll just go outside then.?.?.?” Her words were slow and deliberate and came out as more of a question than a statement. She physically backed away from the table and out the door like she was afraid if she turned around we’d throw a bag over her head and rush her off to a surprise Pottery Class. Her older Sister, only after seeing her sibling successfully make the break, quickly followed never breaking stride or making eye-contact before fleeing through the backdoor.
The Wife and I both chuckled and, in a unison that, under standard Jinx rules, would have us both in debt for one Coke, said, “They don’t know what to do with themselves when they have nothing to do.”
“So…ummmmm…. what do you want to do?” I asked, now feeling as bewildered as the kids looked.
“I don’t know… what do you want to do?” she replied after thinking for a coupe beats.
“I know! We still need to sync on calendars for May.”