Today after our 1-4 church, we had a Linger Longer. A "Linger Longer" is a social following church which always involves food and visiting. We had them all the time in our Singles' Ward. They were great fun. I can honestly say, I don't think I've had a Linger Longer since having children, and now I know why!
Our kids were grumpy and tired and HUNGRY, and when the announcement came that they would be serving the tables in order, all the parents of kids who were sitting 3/4 of the way to the BACK of the cultural hall, heaved sigh of defeat. Oh, I should mention that our ward is HUGE. They are planning to split it soon (most likely next week). Boo and Yaks each have eight kids in their primary class, and they have several classes for each age group. Diddles has 17 kids in her Jr. Nursery class. Yeah...lots of littles. :)
I lost count how many times Yaks said, "Mom, I'm hungry." I was supposed to be watching Diddles so Josh could go meet a new family, but I got distracted talking to Gapi and Lothe, and Diddles bonked her head. I felt terrible. Josh decided it best to just leave with her and go home.
Yaks and Boo said they wanted to stay, and I wanted to be sure my favorite serving bowl didn't get lost with the dishes, so we stayed. When our turn came to get into the food line, much of it was gone, and of the items that were left, they were, "Not the kinds of foods we like, Mom." Boo at a taco. Yaks ate tortilla chips. I told them just to hit the dessert line, but it was all gone! My poor, starving children! :\
I felt so bad that Josh had to deal with tired Diddles. I decided we should just walk home instead of calling him for a ride, figuring Diddles was surely sleeping, and for him to have to load her up in the car to come get us would be mean. I realized I had both the church bag, my YW bag, a cooler with an ice pack and my heavy Armatale bowl! I was traveling with LUGGAGE! I wished I had some sort of cart to haul it all in.
The weather was beautiful, though, as we struck out with our load. I felt much like the pioneers must have felt like at the beginning of their journey West. "Isn't this fun?" "We should walk home every week, Mom!" We got halfway down the block and I knew my shoes were going to give me problems. My shoes are a tiny bit big, which works fine when walking around the church building, but when you're walking across town...it poses a bit of a problem. I kept walking out them, and I knew I was going to twist an ankle. I ended up just taking them off and walking in my hose.
So, envision the three of us in church clothes, walking down the sidewalk. The shoeless mother is carrying a blue and white COOLER, and TWO large tote bags slung over each shoulder. I dodged a few glass shards, but for the most part, it was perfectly safe.
We started watching for landmarks that we knew. "Look, there's McDonalds and Dissmores! We're almost home!" "Little Caesars! Mom, can we just stop and get a pizza?"
Then, it wouldn't be a pioneer story without a miracle. Our rescue party arrived! Our friends, the Campbells pulled over on their way home, and took pity upon us. We fit nine people in their seven-passenger van! "We'll just squish!" THANK YOU, CAMPBELLS!
Asha (8) said, "Ummm, where are your shoes?"
We arrived home safe and sound. Josh had been waiting for us over at the church. Diddles was asleep in the car. Yaks ate Ramen Noodles for dinner. Boo had a cheese sandwich.
I'm calling it a day!
*Picture is James C. Christensen's The Responsible Woman