Saturday, June 25, 2011

One of those nights a mother never forgets

My daughter waited for this night for weeks. My troop co-leader announced in an April girl scout meeting that we had been invited to sleep over in the Iron Pigs outfield after a Friday night game. On the last day of school, my daughter kept saying to her friends, "See you at the game! Don't forget your sleeping bag."

About a week before, I started cutting out letters for the troop banner. I was able to put out about 6 hours on the project, but I left much of the final work to the day of the event, thinking I'd have plenty of time. This morning, my boss requested a meeting. What normally meant a slower morning for the kids was turned into a rude awakening. I literally had to stuff them into their clothes. It's was comical if not for the lateness of the time.

I have a great office facility in that (among many attributes) I can bring my kids there and plop them in front of the box babysitter for at least an hour. With a large tupperware container half full of Berry Kix, I made my way to the meeting. It was a great meeting - lots of things to inspire new thinking.

To reward the kids for helping me get to my meeting on time, I took them to late breakfast at one of our favorite diners, The Mayflower. The day was quickly taken by other chores. Dog needed to get to the vet. Then drop off my tents to my Scout Co-Leader's house and chase back to the office. I had forgotten to write down a meeting with a student, so I rescheduled her for the afternoon. Of course, I thought I could squeeze in a quick second meeting to be back home by 3. I should know this is never the case with some conversations. We didn't get home until 4.

We had one hour to gather our stuff, take the dog for the quickest walk possible and get to the park. I was so glad for the possible rain because it meant I had a really good reason for not finishing the banner. If I had done it just to the glued stage, much of the letters would have fallen off and I would have had to redo it. This is what I told myself. Sometimes, one must convince one's self rather than admit failure.
This was the earliest I have ever been to the field. We got great parking, and Steve joined us from his office not farther than a 1/4 mile away. After waiting 20 minutes for the gates to open, we quickly found our spot on the lawn seats and set out our spanky new all weather blanket I picked up at Bed Bath & Beyond. Seriously look at that blanket. It's funky zebra stripes backed by hot pink vinyl. How does one not feel spanky when sitting on this, eating hot dogs, roasted peanuts and cheap domestic beer?

Other girl scouts join us. They all picked up their special prism glasses which made "rainbow flowers" around the lights. They knew that the Friday night fireworks would be the coolest with these on. Soon after we found each other, it was time to head to section 117 to be escorted to the field for the girl scouts of eastern Pennsylvania parade around the stadium field. All the way down the stairs, around the back of the park and through the opening where service vehicles and mascots enter, we lined up ready for our big entrance.

One lap, and we were back to our seats for one of the most boring and sad games I've seen in a long time. If we weren't sleeping out, I would have left after the 6th inning. But I made a commitment to my daughter and her friends. The game finally ended around 10:30. Fireworks were soon to really brighten the skies and our spirits. Except all of my lingering hopes for a rain out were ended. I had to resolve to find my happy switch about sleeping with fourteen 8-10 year olds.

Tents got set up quickly and the girls ran around during the movie - which I swear I can't even think of what that movie was. I think it was a Disney made for TV movie about a girl that wanted to play football. I can appreciate the hosts showing a girl empowerment movie. But couldn't they have done that about the woman who found the cure for cancer?

Movie ended at 1:00 am. Girls were not settling down, especially the 8 year olds. Even the older girls started to tell them to be quiet.

Nine girls looked like a little of newborn kittens. They were all cuddly and squirmy. It was kind of cute until 1:50am, when all of the sudden, I heard my daughter cry a little whine. I knew immediately what it was. I jumped up and dove into the tent, but I got there too late....

Do you remember watching a movie that has a barf scene? Everyone knows it's coming. There's usually some great stomach gurgling sound effects in case you didn't really know. Without failing expectations, the most generic barf scene ends with someone getting it in the face.

This episode was no different. My poor daughter let it rip. What's amazing to me, is that the one grown up who volunteered to sleep in the Brownie tent SLEPT through the spew. The rest of the girls shot out of the tent like a bomb went off. I nearly pitched my daughter outside, over my shoulder just to get what ever was left inside her stomach out of the tent. While I'm glad the tent was mine, I still can't believe that through all of the cleaning up and taking out the dirty laundry, that woman kept sleeping.

I drove my daughter home, and started the laundry. The troop will be getting a wake up call at 7am, so I need to be back to help clean up and return the affected blankets, socks and sweaters before they become a guilt trip in August.

My daughter cried the whole way home. More embarrassed than tired, I know that tomorrow she will need some space to figure out how to deal with the disappointment. So I hope that if there's any picture she keeps for her scrapbook, it'll be the one we took of our troop just before we walked the field. It was a great day.

#8 of my 90 in 90 challenge for the #LUBlogTribe. Even though it's way into the next day, I haven't gone to sleep yet, so this counts. 


  1. Poor kid!

    When I was little I spent days making a kite with my dad from scratch. It was a project we did together in Indian Guides and I was excited because it culminated with a kite-flying day at a local park. So the day comes and it's windy, perfect for kites. We get outside and as we're walking to the car, big gust of wind comes and rips the material off the kite frame. No way to fix it, and my day was ruined.

    Fortunately we got ice cream later so I think I came out ahead ....

  2. Look what I am missing because I have no parental instincts.