Thursday, August 8, 2013

Kate Miller 35: Memorial Day Memories

Who says you need to have a cookout or go canoeing to have a memorable weekend?

35. Memorial Day Memories (May 2013)
            Kate had been surprised that her mother-in-law wanted to visit for her baby shower—especially knowing that she would never fly across the country just for a baby shower, and was pretty confident that her own mother wouldn’t either. But she was especially glad to have her company those several days after their travels were over and Mister was busy at his conference all day long. It was comfortable and relaxing with just the two of them.
Together, they did jigsaw puzzles, read, cooked, and watched TV shows on the computer, talking all the while (yes, often during the TV shows too.) Mom Miller was an enthusiastic story teller and delighted in recounting funny tales of Mister’s childhood…and pulling out many  relevant morals. Kate chuckled over one of her favorites—she could just see Mister, only three years old, coming to his mother with his childlike questions and impeccable logic.
“Mom?” he asked, “Can God do whatever he wants?”
“And he knows everything?”
“And…you’re sure he can do whatever he wants?”
“Yes…” Where were these questions going?
“I want to be God.”
Kate was excited to someday have her own store of outrageous (and profound) things her children would say…of course, this baby would have to be born first and then eventually learn to talk intelligibly. For now Kate could store up all the strange things that people feel comfortable saying to a pregnant lady: “You look enormous!” or, “You look fabulous!” or, “You look ready to pop.” Kate always had an urge to reply in kind with, “You look like you work in an office building” or, “You look like you spend an hour running for your life every day of the week…” But of course, she kept these responses discreetly to herself, and gave Paddington-sized hard stares to those who seemed to think she might imminently need to rush to the hospital.
On Memorial Day, after planning and list-making, Kate and Mom Miller took a trip to the nearest Costco Warehouse. Though it had occasionally made her feel uncomfortable, Kate considered it a great boon that Mister’s parents (like her own) seemed to love to buy them groceries, and she was deeply grateful for it. But, as they made their way into the parking lot, Kate noticed that it was eerily empty. “It’s just Memorial Day,” she said, confused. “How could it be closed?” She drove over to the entrance, which was, in defiance of all logic, most definitely closed. The hours were out front, indicating that it should have been open. And there was no helpful explanatory sign saying, “Happy Memorial Day” or “Closed for Memorial Day.” Yet here they were, in a line of disappointed cars driving slowly by the closed doors, as if they could somehow find a way in if they looked hard enough. They returned home feeling defeated.
On the phone, Dad Miller was properly outraged at the derelict company’s holiday policy, but had more interesting news about the Memorial Day race he had run that morning. How many people had run in it? “1000?” guessed Mom. “5000?” said Kate. No…50,000!!! Dad had started at a particular time and ended up passing lots of people. Very gratifying, that, especially when many of them were trim, preppy youngsters.
“For next year,” Dad Miller declared over the phone, “I’m going to make myself a T-shirt. On the back, it will say, ‘You just got passed by Grandpa!’
Kate laughed. It was so sweet to see her in-laws relishing their new role as grandparents! 

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