We did a crazy thing today. We got up at 5:00 am, packed up the entire lot of us, along with enough food and gizmos to feed and entertain a small nation, and hit the open road.
It was a mere 6 hours to the town in upstate New York where we could pick up the used truck my husband recently purchased (found, thanks to the miracle of the internet, a mere 300 miles from our home). And then it was a mere 6 hours back.
Along the way, we had our share of potty stops. The most memorable was at a doughnut shop where Dan took the boys in first, then returned and took over van duty while I headed in with the girls. I had not even set foot in the shop yet when one of the three young women behind the counter shouted in my direction, “Are you guys a church group?”
I was distracted with keeping Gabby from touching or licking any public surfaces, so I answered quickly, “No.”
And then the three of them burst out laughing.
“Then are these all your kids?” they asked next. To which I answered “Yes.” And at which they laughed harder still.
I wasn’t hurt or even embarrassed. In fact, I am rather used to this kind of interrogation. It’s just not usually quite so rude, so I was annoyed. I didn’t say anything else.
Throughout the rest of our crazy day, though, I thought about those laughing girls. And I thought, you know what? We are funny.
When the kids in separate cars keep in touch with walkie talkies and tell each other crazy stories about the wild goings on in their respective vehicles ending all of their conversations with a cheerful “10-4, good buddy!” we are funny. When the baby grows so over tired he can’t fall asleep and his older sister entertains him with a giant stuffed cow that she makes sing, “I … am … a … soft … cow! Hear …me … MOO!” and makes him giggle uncontrollably until the entire van erupts with laughter at the very sound of him, we are funny. When the older kids take turns reciting entire episodes of “Hard Hat Harry” and quizzing each other with favorite movie lines, we are funny. When one boy wonders aloud why the U.S. doesn’t just print up a bunch of money and give it out to all the poor people, and his older brother shakes his head solemnly before telling him, “Because that would undermine the economy, buddy,” we are funny.
And when a small voice calls to me from the back, telling me to “Lookit, Lookit, Lookit!” at the cows outside the window and I turn around to see my own crazy jumble of family — all the people I love most in the world, doing their thing, together — in the seats behind me, we are funny. So funny that I have to smile. All over.