Tuesday night the doorbell rings, just as we're sitting down for dinner, and the kids jump up and run to the front door. Less than two seconds after the Ding Dong! echoed through our house (count ... ONE ... TWO ...) all four of the children had flown up from the table, and without their feet even touching the ground, arrived at the front door which they had swung wide open.
I'd like to interject here that no matter how many times I tell the children to not rush and open the front door without their father or I next to them, my children? They really aren't the best listeners. I could say, "Please don't open the door!" 5,000,000 times and hook an electric zapper up to the knob and neither of these things would matter one iota.
OK. Maybe the zapper. But just for a moment.
The children it would appear, are like, growing up? And they think that they have some kind of domestic obligation to answer a door and/or the telephone whenever it rings? Unlike ME who prefers to NOT answer the telephone when it rings. Like ever, never, ever. Because when I answer the phone, my children pull off this amazing trick where they transform in to cannibalistic acrobats right before my very eyes.
They could be perfectly fine and happy playing with Play Doh, but as soon as I get on the phone and my attention is diverted AWAY from them for a split second, whatever peaceful scene had just existed, vaporizes and someone is chewing someone else's arm off while others are doing front flips from the couch.
Now, if it happens to be ME on the other end of that line, as sweet and wonderful as it is to hear my offspring's voices on the telephone, it's never good when they answer before their father even hears it ringing and then after we exchange pleasantries for a few minutes and when I ask to talk with their Dad, they'll put the phone down to go get Charlie, only to become distracted with a fruit fly orbiting a banana in the kitchen and suddenly, I'm unable to call home for the next hour because the line is off the hook.
I can just see that black phone, abandoned in some remote area of the house, with my voice barely audible. "Carolyn? CAROLYN. Elizabeth? ELIZABETH!!! PICK UP THE PHONE. William? WILLIAM!!! HELLLL-OOOOOOOOOO. I PROMISE I'LL BUY A PONY FOR WHOMEVER PICKS UP THIS PHONE. CHARLIE? CHARLIE!?!?"
Anyway. Back to my story.
So there it is, Tuesday night, and perched upon the top step, is a Halloween'esque bag full of goodies. And yet, whomever dropped that bag was nowhere to be seen. At least theoretically. Because, we could see that the whomevers that had dropped the bag were BOOKING IT as fast as their legs would carry them across our front yard.
All this to say: we received our first Virginia Boo. We'd received these, in California, in years past, and I always enjoyed paying forward (aka: spreading) the cheer.
This year, I picked up a few "Boo Bag" supplies for the two families that we were planning to Boo. One of the families had just moved in to the neighborhood, and although their son is in William's Cub Scout troop, they haven't really "settled" in, yet.
(Then again, neither have we and I still get lost going to the store because the roads around our neighborhood will have a minimum of two names, more commonly three, and interchangably, might just be referred to as the route number. Who can keep that straight?)
Prior to dropping these bags off and ringing the doorbells, in the pitch black of night, the children helped me do an inventory of the "goods" in each bag and after oohing and ahhing the festive hair accessories ...
And cool neon necklaces and rubber balls that light up when you bounce them ...
The children asked, "Why, Mommy, when everyone else gives out CANDY for Halloween, you give out toothbrushes and toothpaste?"
My response was that I give out toothbrushes and toothpaste because I genuinely care about oral health. But I suppose it also has something to do with the Practical Gene that I inherited from my mother. A woman who has been known to give toilet paper as a Christmas gift.