Back from Nebraska… for a day or two…

So we’re back from Nebraska but we’re heading back again on Tuesday. Saturday’s get-together was to celebrate D’s 50th birthday (going to keep the names anonymous to protect the innocent). It was a surprise party, and they pulled it off with flying colors, although she claims she had suspicions that something was up. (Don’t they always say that?)

But despite everyone’s best efforts at frivolous merriment, there was a cloud hanging over us all. One of M’s cousins was killed the day before in a car accident. They had been in the same grade and lived pretty close to each other and were best friends growing up. They hadn’t seen much of each other since graduation, but they had caught up at last year’s reunion.

So that was weighing heavily on everyone’s mind as they cut the cake and sang a very off-key version of “Happy Birthday.”

I’m still drinking from the fire hydrant on this whole parenting gig, but I learned one thing this weekend: sometimes it’s good to have silly, carefree, out of control kids around to take your mind off of things. Z. just wanted to run around with the other kids and play with everyone else’s toys and stuff his face with ham, roast beef, potato salad, green beans, and whatever else he could get his grubby mitts on. He just wanted to play in the yard and watch the dogs run around. And watching him do his thing, without a care in the world, was pretty good therapy for the rest of us.

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