Long time readers of this blog know that, in the aftermath of an especially exhausting stretch of insomnia/trip of Paul’s/social engagement/etc., I will often pull out the simile “I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.”
Well, Wednesday we celebrated Lydia’s 12th birthday a month early with eleven of her dearest friends from 1-7 pm. In case you aren’t very good at math I’ll underline that we had, including the ECSTATIC birthday girl herself, twelve twelve year old girls here for six hours…good girls, smart girls, yes, but a houseful of tween girls is a houseful of insanity. All I can say about it today is that if there was some way to transfer all that pre-teen spririt into actual energy, I would have been able to treat the entire U.S. (and most of Canada!) to power for the forseeable future.
Paul planned to take a half day to help me run the party, but had to go to Mexico instead. Fortunately he arrived home a few hours after it started, but in the days leading up to it I slept erratically as I often do when he’s gone.
Torey arrived a little before the guests did. Beyond all the help to me and direction she gave to the girls, I’m so glad she was there to stand witness to the unbelievable hyper-kinesis.
An aside: my spelling and everything else is shot. Above, I had to write “12th” because I couldn’t spell it and I’ve already caught several words substitutions. Please soldier on.
What really undid me, was the water balloon toss. Christopher and Eden had filled up a billion balloons because Torey recommended some stupid games to help fill the gaps between swimming and the usual birthday rigors. As the girls ran out to the yard Jackie Boy happily followed.
I can’t give you the strict ratio of how often he stays with us to the rare times he runs across the road to greet runners on the bike path. Despite the rarity of the latter, the fact that it’s still a possibility has taught all of the us the wisdom of hooking him up to his lead when he’s out in the yard.
I did that immediately but the clasp must have pulled off his collar because he was happily scampering around the driveway. He came as soon as I called, but raced past me to rejoin the throng of girls who all, following Lydia’s frantic lead, began shouting his name. This auditory adrenaline got Jackie going and he started running around them in circles. I called him again and he came barreling down the path towards me where I had just attached the lead to the gazebo.
This was where I made my mistake. With the benefit of hindsight I know that he was probably going to race past me then turn around and come back panting, but I, hepped up from being in the company of – words fail me: I can’t summon an adequate metaphor – a bunch of twelve year old girls for hours and brain addled from all the rest, stepped in front Jack as he charged toward me.
“You didn’t.” Paul said as we lay in bed the next morning, examining my bruises.
On impact I was thrown into the air, spinning, and landed face down in the opposite direction.
“Those girls really deserve a medal,” Torey said, when she called to check in later, “people falling is funny stuff and not one of them even giggled.”
“Adults falling is scary, though.”
Lydia confirmed this. Her friends stood frozen and momentarily speechless, until one asked her, “Is your mom OK?”
I was lying in a pile, the breath knocked out of me, unable to savor the temporary silence. For a second I considered embarrassment but adrenaline and shock were made for just these occasions. A wiser or less addled woman would have probably feigned serious injury and remained crumpled.
I jumped up, grabbed the dog, secured him to the lead, adjusted the towel that was my quasi cover up and walked across the lawn with as much dignity as I could muster to rejoin the balloon toss in which I was even-ing up the numbers. My partner and I were one of the last teams to drop.
Today my left wrist is throbbing and the bone feels damaged. Large bruises have formed on my fore and upper arm, covering muscle aches and the area from my shoulder extending all the way up my neck is stiff and feels twisted.
The rest of the party went smashingly (strictly a metaphor) and the final test for me of greeting the parents arriving to pick up and saying goodbye to all the girls went well too, although I may have laughed somewhat dementedly at one of the dads in a brave shot at welcoming heartiness.
I don’t think I twitched.
That’s all I have the strength to report for now.
I hope everyone is happy and well and don’t take that full range of motion for granted; it’s a gift.