It was the kind of weekend that grabs you and yanks you right through it at breakneck speed and you’d just better hang on and enjoy the ride and you do except when it’s over you’re suddenly beyond exhausted and at the same time overwhelmed with contentment.
My house is wrecked. It is wrecked in the special way homes are wrecked when a mother is just too tired and gloomy all week to do much of anything and the kids seem to pick up on this so they are extra active, destructive, and defiant but then Friday comes and suddenly the mother decides to do a lot of baking and cooking and then there’s activities all weekend and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights find everyone not just tired but at that special point of fulfilled collapse.
Friday, I was let out of work early. I stopped and did groceries, went home, and finished
reading devouring Bloodfever. I don’t really understand why I’m fascinated with this series because it is some seriously over the top camp but it’s addictive camp (she’s totally in love with a werewolf, isn’t she? NO! DON’T TELL ME!). Then I decided it was time to get in the kitchen and make these Whoopie Pies I’ve been fantasizing about for days. They advise making the cakes a day in advance so I figured if I made them Friday night, Saturday would be the day to make the filling and all would be well in the world. So I made the cakes, but I also was craving something sweet now so I made these cupcakes with this chocolate buttercream frosting (with the almond extract option) while I made dinner—kingclip filets in foil packets served with a side of cheesy garlicky mashed potatoes. At some point during the cooking and the baking, my parents brought the kids over as they’d taken them to the beach that day since the daycare and school were closed. To give you a sense of time, we sat down to eat dinner after nine o’clock. After dinner, I iced the now cooled cupcakes and my kids got to work decorating them with Easter M&M’s. They each ate one and everyone was really tired. Actually, I should note that Baby passed out on the sofa after baths before we got to the cupcakes. We all collapsed in our beds at around 11.
My Dad called me at 8:30, realized I was asleep, and quickly hung up. We all woke up for real about an hour later to the sound of music. I realized the park across the street was doing their annual egg hunt after all. I rounded everyone up, got them all dressed, armed them with shopping bags, and we headed over. We hunted for eggs and my friend found one of the six golden eggs so the kids were really excited about that. After the eggs were gone, they were starting to whine about wanting to eat and wanting to drink and wanting to sit so I took them back home and got them breakfasted. After, I cleaned the kitchen and got to work making the Whoopie Pie filling. The kids tried playing outside again but the heat was scorching. Oh, we dyed eggs. That was an adventure. And I made them bathe. I’m pretty sure they mostly ran around being destructive from the state of the play room. Well, Eldest read Fantastic Mr. Fox but the other two destroyed.
At some point, they ate the Whoopie Pies which were a huge giant mess. Recipe evaluation: Cake recipe is meh. I think I need to try it again and make them flatter. Taste was right but they were too moundy and not very discy. This meant there was a LOT of cake in each bite. The filling was a disaster. It was just melting all over the place. I tried to compensate for the melt factor by putting in not as much filling but that just backfired because of how dense the cakes were. I’d give it 2 out of 4 stars/forks/spoons/mutants. I do want to try it again though. I feel obligated to get Whoopie Pies right although I have no idea why I have this strong urge at all. Cupcakes = Win. Whoopies = Meh.
Later that day, we went to a baseball game. My university sponsored this big Family Night event at the stadium and each employee got a free ticket with hot dog, chips, and soda plus you could buy three more tickets with food at $1 each and a discounted parking pass for only $8. I bought them last month and was so excited even though we got Upper Level seats. In the second inning, a lady approached me and asked if I was with the university (we WERE decked out in school colors) and she had us come with her. They upgraded us big time- Lower level, third row. We could have had a conversation with the first baseman. I’ve never had seats that great to any sporting event. I was actually nervous because we were totally in the line of fire for those line drive fouls they sometimes nail. I was shocked the kids actually sat there the entire time and had a blast. The weather was gorgeous. They had a bunch of activities for the kids like free face-painting and bounce houses and even a salsa concert afterwards. It was a total blast.
We got home just before midnight and they went to bed totally amped up. I had to wait for them to sleep. And wait. I quietly filled eggs and then when all had been silent for a while, I checked on them. Asleep. Finally. I brought out the baskets and hid them and then laid out a trail of eggs from each basket to each of their beds—blue eggs for Eldest, pink eggs for Daughter, and yellow eggs for Baby. Baby’s was easily hid, right under a table. For Daughter, it was under a laundry basket but I made her crawl through a tunnel to get to it. For Eldest, it took him at least five minutes to figure out the trail ended at the laundry closet because his basket was in the dryer. I also gave the kids the crocheted toys I made them and they were REALLY happy with those.
Later, their Uncle MuantWino and his lady friend picked them up for a big Easter hunt and party with the lady friend’s family. It seems they are “serious”. They actually live together and they keep trying to mix the families at these sorts of events. It’s weird to me. From there, they went straight to my mom’s house with the kids while I stayed home and after I’d filled eggs for THAT egg hunt, and showered, and dressed, and stared mightily at the destroyed house for very long periods of time, I went to her house too. Daughter had brought the doll I made her and so between the cupcakes and the crochet everyone was trying to come up with some sort of business I could go into. I just drank a superbly delicious rosé (it’s good to have Winos in the family). Everyone had fun playing Marco Polo in the pool (I watched) and hunting for eggs and eating yummy arroz con pollo and desserts like the cupcakes which I brought from the house in a most dangerous and reckless fashion as demonstrated below.
After everyone left, the kids were happily watching TV and I passed out cold on my mom’s couch. I mean, coma-like. I’m pretty sure I was snoring on some level and likely drooled. My mom woke me up to let me know they were going to get their evening coffee and my brother was watching them so I could stay sleeping. But I was awake at that point. Got up, picked up all of the stuff the kids had gotten as presents and stashed it in the car, and got the kiddos into the tub much to their collective chagrin. My mom let me know the oldest two could stay with her since they still don’t have school so it was me and Baby back home. After he passed out, I half-heartedly picked up some of the living room before giving up and joining him in LaLa land.
I’m happy to have had such a great and crazy weekend. When I have weekends like this, I feel like all is right with the universe. We made so many good memories—specific and general ones. Maybe they’ll remember decorating cupcakes, or dyeing eggs, or eating Whoopie Pies half-naked, or going to a baseball game, or looking for their baskets, or hunting for eggs three times in one day, or that their Mom made them dolls, and maybe they won’t. Maybe all they’ll remember is they sure had a good time when they were kids. And that’s all I care about. I was sorting through all the eggs and the gifts last night and remarked to my friend, “They don’t know how lucky they are.” “Nope,” he said. “They really don’t. But one day, most likely through someone else’s experiences, they’ll probably realize it.” And that made me smile because that’s how it is for me. I have close friends that had some rough childhoods. When we’d sit and talk about what it was like being a kid, I remember feeling confused and guilty because my friends mostly had bad experiences and yet what I mostly remembered from my childhood was that exuberant feeling of innocent joy. I really do remember my childhood that way. If it was a color, it’d be yellow—bright and happy and sunny. Now that I’m older I don’t really feel any sort of confusion or guilt anymore when we compare stories of growing up, but I sure do feel a whole lot of gratitude and an overwhelming desire to pay it forward starting with my kids and hopefully one day finding a way to stretch it outwards from there.