Life in the Boomer Lane is getting ready for the kids to descend on the house for the holidays (As she writes this, Jorge/George, the normally tree-climbing lawn guy, is dragging the ladder out of the garage so he can string the interior holiday lights.) Technically, they will be celebrating Chanukah, which will have already been over but which will be briefly resurrected with as much enthusiasm as was the enthusiasm for another resurrection that occurred a couple thousand years ago. And, like the disappearing act that occurred after the first resurrection, the kids will disappear when they go to their dad’s house for Christmas.
One child is coming from another continent. One is coming from another coast. One is coming from another color state. Because of varying work schedules, significant-other considerations and prior commitments, they will all be in LBL’s house together for about 17 minutes. During this time, they will have a family dinner, a Chanukah party, and their annual religious bowling event. Given the limited time frame, they might have to combine everything by bowling with lit menorahs strapped to their heads, holding a bowling ball in one hand and a latke in the other.
Sometimes LBL’s kids’ visits are more like drive-by shootings (“I’ll arrive sometime during the night. You won’t see me or hear me.”) or celebrity appearances (“I hope you don’t mind that several dozen people will be coming to the house each day to see us.”) or hostile takeovers (“You don’t need the computer, right, Mom?”).
In an attempt to understand what will be happening, LBL has color-coordinated her calendar. Each sub-family unit has their own color. LBL’s grandson will be 18 months old, and has agreed to go along with whatever his parents decide, so LBL doesn’t need a color for him. When LBL asked her younger son’s dog Lola what she would be doing, she was distracted by attempting to sniff her butt, so LBL is assuming she will go along with whatever her son decides. So no special color for her.
In addition to colors, LBL has drawn a lot of arrows, a legend, and has written a user-friendly manual. And, in addition to her kids, their significant others and her younger son’s dog who will stand in for his girlfriend who will be with her parents, they will be hosting her son-in-law’s dad. Her son-in-law’s mom, sister and their respective families will be in the area for several days from Long Island. Some of them will be staying with LBL’s son-in-law’s uncle and his family.
Thrown into this mix will be a one-day road trip to see LBL’s aunt in Philly and a stop in West Chester, PA for a big family dinner with her kids’ aunt, uncle, their children and grandchildren and respective dogs.
In case you haven’t been counting, the total number of people involved in this endeavor approximates the population of Boise, Idaho. And, given the inevitable diversions from any intended schedule (mostly consisting of emergency naps required by both the baby and by Now Husband), you have an unlimited number of possibilities.
LBL is prepared for any eventuality. All too soon, they will be gone in a pouf, and she will be left with a cat and a napping husband all curled up together, and an empty shelf where all the toilet paper used to be.
And then New Years Day will arrive, along with Younger Son returning with his girlfriend, and the next day when daughter returns with her family and…
LBL thinks she needs more toilet paper.