I feel like today's story starts yesterday, when I was carried away by the beauty of Colorado in the fall. The days have been golden and mild, showing off rich reds and yellows, while the nights have been gorgeously cool. It's supposed to freeze, and even possibly snow this weekend, and I was feeling a little panicky at how quickly the season was escaping.
"We should take a picnic dinner and go hiking tomorrow night," I told Clay. "Everyone will be home, and we can go on that path by the school I walked on the other day. It was BEAUTIFUL."
"Um," he said, "yeah...but the sun goes down awfully early these days..."
I pushed on through his doubt, sure that this was what we needed to do, as a family, to enjoy the fleeting autumn moments. And see, that's where it starts, because I thought I could shoehorn a moment of peace into our lives. And so our lives had to prove me wrong.
Then we realized that Max had an Ultimate Frisbee game after school, and then he had choir at church that night and Raphael had youth group, leaving a 45 minute window of time for hiking and eating and savoring, so yeah. Never mind.
THEN, Tre got home from work after 10 and informed us that there was a meeting at school that night, at 6. *sigh*
Okay, Clay and I huddled up to figure out how to make it all happen. These conversations remind me of chess. You know how, when you're playing chess, you have to keep in mind everyone on the board, and how they move and what will happen? I always think of these strategy discussions as Family Chess. I never was all that good at chess.
Anyhow, we got it all sorted out eventually. Tre would pick up Max after his game. Clay would go to the meeting, and I would take Max and Raphi to church, which would even leave me time to go to yoga! Yay! Tre would hold down the fort with Sophia until Clay came home, and he would still have time to give her a bath. Whew! Done.
The first sign that our plan was coming unravelled was when Tre called this afternoon, to inform us that he HAD to be at the meeting tonight. Damn. We shuffled, and came up with the plan that Clay would go with Tre and take Sophia to the meeting, so I could still go to yoga after dropping off the others. Done.
But then Tre went to pick up Max, and he wasn't back at the school after his game yet. He waited. He called home. He waited some more. Eventually, there wasn't going to be enough time for him to come home and turn around to go to the meeting. Okay. Okay. So we decided Clay and I would take Sophia and go meet Tre and Max, and then Clay, Tre, and Sophia would go to the meeting, and I would go back and get the other boys and STILL YOGA. Dinner would be eaten in the car at some point along the way. DONE.
I kept calling Tre on the way to see if Max was there yet, and he kept not being there, so we ended up driving the whole way to his school. Tre climbed out of his car and came over to talk to us. We briefly outlined the plan, and he turned back to grab his backpack. When he walked over to his car, peered in the window, and went decidedly slumped at the shoulders, I knew.
Because of course.
Tre had locked his keys in the car.
But it was okay, because he had his spare key with him. In his backpack. On the back seat of the car.
And I will spare you all the rest of the details, except to say that Clay, Tre, and Sophia got to the meeting, which was about band instruments, and somehow we are now paying for the "privilege" of Tre having access to a snare drum. Sophia lost her ever-loving mind at being in the car too long without food. She went unbathed. My mom came to wait with me while I waited for the locksmith. Max spent about an hour being embarrassed by me being at his school in yoga clothes, despite the fact that no one else was there. I did not make it to yoga, so I compensated by doing cartwheels on the school lawn, which is nothing like yoga, but has the advantage of making Max wild with embarrassment. My dad took Raphael to youth group, which turned out to be cancelled anyway. Max never did make it to choir, which was probably for the best, since he has a cold. And the Mom took most of us out to dinner, which was a lovely way to end a day that was otherwise a symphony of fail.