Two guesses. You're right! There was, indeed, no student council meeting. Hmm... so I called the OTHER part of the school, and asked them to send my daughter a note that read "No student council meeting, take school bus home". I mentioned to them that the word "school" was very important, because MC is big on semantics, and could easily interpret "bus" to mean "public transit" and then wander in God knows when, feigning innocence, and I just didn't want to have to hassle with it.
And then I was off...slightly delayed by all this dealing with the high school...to a meeting about a job. My dear friend Kim, (of "4 Chambers of My Heart" fame), had graciously agreed to watch my Small One, so I basically threw the child at her as I dashed back out the door, and she invited me to stay longer on the return trip, and have lunch. This is where the day took a few rather odd turns.
For one thing, I got a call from the high school. They'd tried to deliver the message, you see, but failed, because my child wasn't in class. What?!? The lady was pretty blase about it, considering it was basically their turn to watch the girl, and they weren't doing such a hot job. She assured me that she'd look into it further and call me back. I took a deep breath (or several), went to the meeting, returned to Kim's house to pick up Small One and have lunch.
Over lunch, Kim made reference to the fact that I seemed pretty unconcerned for a mom whose daughter was MIA, and I explained that I was going to wait for the school to call me, and then go to the school if she'd not been found. But as I was explaining this, my phone began to ring, and at the same time I noticed that TWO HOURS had passed since MC had not been in class, with no word from the school. I snatched up the phone and ran out the front door, to better hear the other party without 5 children in the same space.
It wasn't the school, it was my Oldest, and as I was wrapping up my conversation with him, I noticed a car pulling up to the curb. A bald African American man, probably in his late 50s, got out and approached me, just as I was dialing the school, and told me he was from Comcast, and I directed him inside, explaining that I didn't live there. Here's where it gets weird.
He said to me "Well, is the baby still crying?" and I conceded that it was possible a baby could still be crying, as there were two in the house. To which he replied "Well, I'm about to go in there and calm EVERYONE down", in a rather lilting tone, with an somewhat expansive hand gesture. Think "conversational jazz hands". (This should have clued me in that this was no ordinary Comcast cable guy.)
Kim came to the door, with a dvr and her Littlest in tow. "Hello, Little Man!" the Comcast guy called out, and her Littlest looked at him with suspicion. Small One, on the other hand, came right out onto the front porch and looked up at him, and he said...
"Hello! HellllO! Hello, Baby! Hello, it's me... I've thought about us for a long long time... Seeing you, or seeing anyone as much as I do you, I take for granted that you're always there..."
Yes, folks, YES, he sang his entire rendition of the old Todd Rundgren song "Hello It's Me." Did I say sang? Oh yes, sang! And in fact, right about the time he said "Hello Baby" he went into a little dance, complete with step-hip action and some side to side jazz hands. The other three children came to the door. Small One was fascinated.
All the children, in fact, were fascinated. I can really only describe it as "stupefied fascination", but Kim put it a little more aptly when she said "They were looking at him like he was Willy Wonka. Like they thought he MIGHT be nice, or he MIGHT be a little crazy, and they just needed to figure it out." Yep, that's exactly right.
Small One extended her arms, and he picked her up and finished the song, dancing with her. During this performance, I was on hold with the high school, waiting for them to locate MC, but when Small started looking a little nervous, I took her from him, smiling at him as if to say "No, no, I think you're nice crazy, not dangerous crazy, it's all good!"
When he finished his song, he turned his attention to Kim's Littlest. He said "What about you Little Man? Would you? Would yooooooou... WOULD you like to swing on a star?" And he was off again. All the children stared. Kim and I attempted not to look at each other, for fear we would burst into hysterical laughter. I walked a little way away to better hear the school administrator. (MC was found, she'd only missed part of one class, and was being duly written up for that infraction.)
By the time I was hanging up the phone, the man had moved on to a song about Jack coming back down the hill because he needed love he couldn't get from Jill. Not too sure I liked where that one was going, but it was broken up anyway, by the small children losing interest and fleeing the front stoop, and the not quite as small children retrieving them, against their will, to a chorus of howling nos.
Kim and I began to herd everyone back inside, saying our goodbyes to Theatrical Comcast Man, when he said to the children, "Wait, little girls! I've got something for you in my car!" We all froze in our tracks. Kim and I looked at each other. (She later told me my eyebrows went up almost to my hairline.) The man amended his statement. "I mean, if it's ok with your Mommies, I've got some candles I'd like to bring to you from my car, if you'll just wait here." Then he turned to us and said "I used to own a Dollar Store." (presumably as an explanation)
Then he was back, with a big bag full of candles. The bigger girls each picked a candle, as Kim and I wrangled the little ones away from the bag, and the man handed each of us a candle, despite our insistance that we didn't really need one.
I got a faux Heineken, Kim got a faux Budweiser.
As we walked in the door, and Comcast Man was headed down the front walk, I turned and looked at Kim. "DON'T!" she stage whispered, "THE WINDOWS ARE OPEN!"
I stage whispered back. "You KNOW I'm blogging about this!"
In about 20 years, we'll stage this picture again, with real beverages, and put both shots together in a double frame.And you know, we have to keep those candles forever.