So the next morning when Eion asked, "We're still going to the Chinese New Year aren't we?" How could I say no? [I was bolstered by an improved physical condition. Now it only hurt a bit when I swallowed.]
Our chances of success were looking slim. Maggie was absolutely being forced to go against her will. Morrigan was a decidedly half-hearted participant. Not to mention, she was at a sleepover the night before and had little to no sleep. But we pressed on. We were going to have some family fun dammit.
To the amazement of all involved, we did! They had at least 10 tables set up with different crafts and activities which the kids LOVED.
For entertainment, they had a virtually non-stop show of martial arts, a Chinese dragon, dancers, singers and musicians.
These dancers were too cute!
As the three hours we were there flew by (while we were in a two hour parking zone - big thanks to the parking enforcement for not feeling punitive today), we saw tons of friends, both mine and the kids'. And while there were lots of people there, The Public was not in attendance. How do I know? Only once in the entire time we were there did I think, "good lord you smell like a pack of smokes." It was lovely.
We have two asides for the day as well.
Number 1 - Sometimes We Might Underestimate The Boy
E was working with some wood puzzles they had at one of the play stations. I went over to check in and make sure he was doing ok and not annoying the crap out of someone. A dad there asked, "Is this your son?" Having no idea what his next line would be, I answered with a decidedly tentative, "Yes?" "Well," he told me, "he's really quite something." At which point I am thinking, don't I know it. But he went on, "He's really bright. I can't believe how quickly he put all these puzzles together." Go E. Not only was he not annoying the crap out of someone, he came off as a smart guy. Which, considering he refused to remove his shin guards for the event, was something.
Number 2 - The World Is Sometimes So Freaking Small I Could Fit It In My Pocket
I'm checking in to see if the kiddos were ok and a woman came up to me and the following ensued:
Woman: I know you but I have no idea from where.
Me: [Thinking she looks vaguely familiar but not being able to place her at all.] Ummm. Do you live in South Roanoke?
Woman: No. Are you from Michigan?
Now, I know I sound Northern, but to pin it like that was weird. I was feeling like it was Candid Camera.
Woman: Did you work for Comerica Bank?
Me: I did. I was Katie V. then. [Recognition is starting to set in here as the fog of 20ish years was lifted.] Were you in the Branch Management Trainee Program?
Indeed she was. I had to ask her name, which is Sharisse, and we quickly caught up. I'm still more than a little surprised she recognized me. For one, the last time we saw each other was at least 18 years ago. Not to mention, while we were in a training program together, this meant we only came in contact with each other quarterly, at best.
But what a fun chance meeting. She and her family live in Raleigh Court, not ten minutes from me and her kids will end up in middle school with my own. Such a cliche, but what a small world.