It is cold and rainy today, but not as rainy as it was for Niska-Day. Jeepers. What a bust. I had invited my sister and our 7-year-old nephew for one of our very favorite holidays, so I was particularly disappointed with how soaking wet the day was. We all headed out into the rain to cheer for the parade, but it just wasn’t like it usually is. We had fewer people at our house, fewer spectators roaming the street, and a quieter parade overall. Of our families, only J braved the drenched grounds of the Craig School, and that was basically to make a loop, confirm that hardly anyone was around, and scoop up some curly fries and fried dough before hurrying with her friend back to our car, where I was waiting.
J ended up going along with our visitors to Via Aquarium, which I’d visited on my own back when it was first opening. They enjoyed it, especially the hands-on stuff, and my sister particularly appreciated the reasonable prices in the gift shop. They also visited Via Entertainment and had fun there as well. So they made the best of the situation, but it was still a bummer after I’d been touting the huge family fun of one of our favorite days of the year.
On Sunday we had a picnic for M’s track and field team, then a graduation party for neighborhood friends. Altogether, it was a fun weekend, but not particularly relaxing. One of those weekend where you feel like you deserve one additional day just to rest and recover.
And poor M spent much of her spare time studying like a maniac. It is finals crunch time, and she’s about as stressed as she gets about school. She really does an excellent job of managing her workload and keeping up with everything, but having both soccer and track this spring, not to mention the incidental social events and other extracurricular activities, have really made things challenging for her. Tomorrow is her last track meet, which means the end of the season and, I think, the end of practices. When I realized, I thought that she might be a little sad about it, and I asked her and she said, “Well, I’m actually really tired, so. . . . ” Of course, even though track is just about over, there’s still soccer, and she’s got a soccer tournament this weekend.
We asked M whom she’d like to go with for the tournament, Cute W or me, and the choice was clear: Cute W. He knows how to drive places without getting lost, he efficiently runs off to pick up fresh raspberries for her between games, he understands soccer strategy and keeps track of the players than me, and he takes better pictures. Really, in all ways, he’s superior. I get that. I mean, it is humbling, but I get it. So we had decided that she’d go with Cute W, and then Cute W and J realized that the new Star Wars movie would be out this weekend. It was unlikely they could make any time to see the movie together. I suggested that I could bring her to see it asap, and then she could go again when Cute W was back in town. There was a silence, and then I realized that she didn’t want to go with me: she wanted to go with her dad. Star Wars is their thing together. I can barely tell the difference between an ewok and a porg. Okay, well, that’s a lie: if they were both in front of me, I could identify which creature was an ewok and which was a porg, but I totally forgot the name of that other recent cute creature that wasn’t an ewok and I had to Google to figure it out. It’s that sort of ignorance and lack of enthusiasm which makes me wholly unqualified as a movie companion for her first viewing of any Star Wars movie. They’d have to wait.
Now, as it turns out, we’ve decided to swap. M’s friend’s mom is going, so we’re going to make it a “girls’ weekend” and I’ll catch a ride with them. At least this eliminates one of my “cons”: we’ll have someone else able to drive and navigate. If I plan ahead and pack some raspberries to take along with us, I’ll be. . . well, still inferior, but I’ll demonstrate effort, at least. Lucky for M and Cute W, there’s another soccer tournament just around the corner. And this means that Cute W and J will be able to indulge in their Star Wars enthusiasm without the lackluster support from me or the eye-rolling from M.