Neither of my sisters has kids and I happen to have a particularly entertaining one, so when they get a chance to hang out with him it goes a little something like this:
Aunt Laura: Are you for sure not coming to graduation?
Me: *sad, pouting emoticon*
Aunt Laura: You owe me the biggest grad gift EVER. I’ll call you later.
(I called her immediately to announce that I indeed had “the biggest grad gift EVER” to offer her. I explained that Colt had to make up a day of school (for all the snow this winter) on Memorial Day when she would be visiting Fayetteville. BUT! The school was having FIELD DAY and they were in need of volunteers! Kindergarten Field Day! BEST DAY EVER.)
(3 days passed.)
Aunt Laura: You seriously have no idea how excited I am about Colt’s Field Day…
We showed up bright and early Monday morning, hoping to win a non-existent Volunteer of the Year award with our matching school t-shirts and can-do attitudes. When the head volunteer asked us to man the face painting table, Laura and I reluctantly agreed while Becky just grinned – she would be right at home. While we set up and waited for the kids to arrive, we flipped through the “how to” booklets that came with the paints and decided we would stick to offering simple shapes like hearts, stars, baseballs, and spiders — none of this full-faced butterfly nonsense. I am artistically-challenged, and Laura’s no better. And we knew it would be a slippery slope if we started getting more complex than that.
It’s hard to say where it all went wrong, but the hearts and stars turned into a cat nose and whiskers which turned into these two goofballs.
I don’t know them, but they came through my line together and gave me very specific instructions for mustaches and stars painted around their eyes, which I had to decline since, you know, that sounded hard. But mustaches! I could handle long curly lines! In fact, who wants a SNAKE painted on his face? Doesn’t that sound awesome, kids?!
As the kindergarteners filtered through, more or less satisfied with the simple shapes and stick figures they were getting from us, Laura and I started to notice kids milling around with MUCH more fabulous masterpieces on their little faces. Becky! You’re making us look bad! Before we knew it, first and second grade was coming into the gym and the requests starting getting more elaborate.
These kids were sitting in a folding chair in the middle of their elementary school gym, facing a volunteer mom qualified to draw little more than her own signature, and they were art directing me with “can you make me look like a zombie?” I buckled under the pressure and free-handed a Bat-signal at one point. It wasn’t pretty.
I glanced over at Laura as the line got longer and the demands got trickier. “Happy Graduation Present, Sister!” She glared at me and went back to her work.
Meanwhile, outside on the lawn.
As the morning progressed, the face painting line dwindled and we started to notice a few kids Laura and I had done earlier in the day were in line again! They were washing off the child’s play they were getting from us and getting in Becky’s line for an upgrade! Sneaky little things!
With that realization we left the booth in Becky’s capable hands and headed outside to indulge in the rest of Field Day. First up, an ill-fated three-legged race with my favorite boy!
Laura — who is famous for her clumsiness… (sorry, Laura, but it’s true…) — challenged Colt to a potato sack race that ended with Laura injured on the ground and Colt laughing from the finish line.
“Winning” that race made him a little cocky and he gathered a few friends for another round.
One minute he was king of the sack race, the next he was pouting at the start line. Who knows?
But don’t worry. Aunt Laura saved the day!
Looking to combine Volunteer of the Year with Best Aunt Ever, are we?
Even with the high expectations at the face painting table and the threat of rain all morning, Field Day was delivering big. When I’d pictured it, I thought of my own elementary school Field Days — with organized track events and color-coordinated outfits with my friends. Back then we had softball tosses and 100-yard dashes, not THIS:
Well Laura, I hope it lived up to the hype of “the biggest grad gift EVER”. And Becky, expect a phone call next year when it’s time to round up face painting volunteers for Field Day 2015. (Show off…)
We had fun, Crazy Aunt Laura, come visit again soon!