A family for the rest of us

I admit it. I have a crush. But it is totally okay, because it isn’t on a person, it is on a whole family. And not in a creepy way like that book “Endless Love” either. At least I really, really hope not.

I believe it was during Lamp’s second grade year at the Episcopal School for Privileged (Mostly White) Males that I learned about The New Boy. I am going to call him Random, which is descriptive in many ways. I learned that Random was an outspoken atheist. I learned that Random disliked sports.  I learned that Random had a strange and often inappropriate sense of humor. In other words this child had all of the qualifications to be an ideal playmate for my son. It really wasn’t up to Lamp anymore. This was out of his hands.

I believe I had actually already met Random’s parents at a school event at the end of the previous year, but they hadn’t really registered. I tend to be highly distracted at those events because I am trying so very hard. Not to fit in exactly, because how likely is THAT? Mostly I just try not to stand out too much. Plus back in those days I was trying extra hard not to be embarrassing and bring shame and disgrace upon my now EX-husband, He Who Shall Not Be Named. Well, any MORE shame and disgrace. So I expect I was paying too much attention to worrying that a klaxon would be ringing at any moment, and a loud automatic voice would proclaim “Peasant! Unbeliever! Product of PUBLIC Schooooooools! Unclean! Unclean! Unclean!”, and I would stand there in the spotlight and be forced to witness all of these lovely people pretend not to notice while they nibbled hors d’oeuvres.

So anyway, I was DISTRACTED.

However, at the next event I was prepared. This time it was one of those heavily expensive red wine soaked events in which mostly wealthy, nearly middle aged women compete with one another as to who is the biggest foodie: i.e. “Mom’s Night Out.” These are a bit hit or miss for me, because whereas I am actually professionally trained as a cook and am therefore SOMEWHAT in my milieu, any large group that is exclusively female makes me worry that it could easily devolve into the shower scene from “Carrie”. I admit it. I have issues. If someone reading this happens to BE one of those other moms, really… it’s not you. It’s me. You are all perfectly lovely, thin, smart, amazing women. I’m sure you never tormented the fat nerdy girl in high school. BUT, as usual, I digress.

So it was “Mom’s Night Out” at one or another large, lovely, uncluttered home where there inexplicably seemed to live children who were freshly scrubbed and adorably pajama’d by 7:30 pm when their nanny allowed them to briefly interrupt their mother to help them say their prayers before promptly descending into the quiet, cherubic slumber of innocence. I tried not to stare too hard in disbelief while I actively sought out the Mother of Random. Since it so happens that she is also the Mother of Invention (Random’s little sister), I will call her Necessity. (It is really either that, or Frank Zappa, and I think I’ll save that one for their dad.) I tried hard not to act all fangirl when I met her, not least because that would be utterly confusing. But I think I probably did follow her around like a puppy for a bit, and I probably said things that amounted to “Ohmygod! Finally! Another geeky atheist family! Thankyouthankyouthankyou for making me feel a little less alone. Please like me…”

So did I go out of my way to schedule playdates? You better believe it. No arranged marriage was so carefully orchestrated. Not that is was all that difficult. The boys had a natural affinity that we can maybe blame on the heritability of the geek gene. Now that I have met many of the extended members of that particular family, I can say that the geek force runs strong in that line, if perhaps a tad more on the father’s side where it seems to run pure for generations. Kudos.

So yeah, I have a crush on a whole family. Luckily when my marriage to Lord Voldemort ended, I was able to retain custody of them. So here’s a shout out to my “extra-kid”, Random. This is a boy who seems to eat only for ironic effect, and who caused his parents to have a school conference to discuss his “simulated sex acts with baby carrots during lunchtime.” His younger sister, Invention, who I truly believe could alter reality if she felt like it, and who got Lamp kicked out of the grocery store by acting REALLY odd and then saying she was Special Needs and that Lamp was her babysitter. Then there is the little one, Chaos, who wants to be like the big kids SO BADLY that it makes me very, very afraid. In an almost good way. And their parents, Necessity and Frank, who have truly, truly kept me from completely losing my shit on more than one occasion. I am really glad I made our kids play together.

Where there beith a will, thou hath a way.


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