In the first month of the year, I was calmly tending the flock of my household, mostly by deciding what to cook for dinner, and coloring in my adult coloring book when possible.
And lo, on January 5th, the Almighty called to me from an e-mail from the head chaperone of the school band. I said to myself, “I shall turn aside from making dinner and look at this e-mail which is burning brightly but not being consumed.” From the midst of the e-mail the Lord God said, “Apply to be a chaperone for the band trip to Disney.”
I said, “But Lord, who am I to be a band trip chaperone? I was not in the band as a teenager.”
The Lord said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign unto you that it is I who have sent you: When the trip is all over and you are actually still able to walk on your own two legs, you will worship God with a thankfulness you never thought possible.”
I said to God, “Suppose I say to the band teenagers, ‘Sit down while the bus is moving’ or ‘No, you may not go to the pool; it is 11 PM and I have just completed your room check’ or, ‘I am not carrying your band uniform for you’ and they ignore me, as most teenagers tend to do? What then shall I tell them?”
God said to me, “I am that I am. Apply to be a chaperone before the deadline.”
* * * * * *
But, lo, the e-mail from the head chaperone did not say that the band trip would mean taking a 20-hour bus ride into the wilderness of Florida – yea, even to the World of Disney; leading a break-neck pace for the following four days; and then getting back on the bus for another 20+ hour bus ride before finally reaching the land of milk and honey, that is, one’s own blessed bed.
These things were hidden from the eyes of all the living.
Not knowing thereof, I applied. Lo, there was no word nor was there any e-mail for five weeks. I assumed that I would not be picked to be a chaperone. In the second month on the sixteenth day, the itinerary for the trip was published, and it was revealed unto me that the trip would be filled with sore travail for an adult of my age and physical stamina. Chaperones would slumber not nor sleep. I rejoiced and was exceeding glad that I had not been picked to be a chaperone.
Be not deceived, O Common Household Mom; God is not mocked: for whatsoever application you make, a reply shall you also reap. For lo, another chaperone had to cancel, and I was asked to replace her.
|THE MOST Happiest Place on the Earth|
And the Lord said to me, “Go to a land I will show you, a land called ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’.” I replied to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. My skin doctor told me to stay out of the sun, and that makes me a very bad candidate for a band trip to Florida.”
The Lord said, “Bring a hat and sunscreen. Oy.”
I said, “But what if my bladder can’t last on the long bus ride?”
The Lord said, “Give up caffeinated tea before and during the trip.”
But I said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I am not fond of amusement parks. Please send someone else.”
Then the Lord’s anger burned hot and the Lord said, “You must go as a thank offering for the chaperone who helped your daughter on her first band trip in her freshman year. You are capable of counting teenagers as they get on a bus. You will survive; your daughter will have a blast. Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
- The Book of Peregrinations 9:1-39
* * * * * *
These are the garments you shall wear as a band trip chaperone. You must wear a shirt the color of brimstone. Get you to a craft store and buy plain t-shirts of this yellow-gold plumage for $3.99 each, and rejoice in your good find. You shall wear garments of black on your legs. Lo, you may wear any length of pants – shorts, capris, or long pants, but they must be black. For these are the school colors. And you shall wear these colors every day for six days.
This is to be a lasting ordinance for all chaperones. Then shall you be recognized from across the amusement park, lo, even from space, as a band chaperone.
- The Book of Admonitions 7:6-19
* * * * * *
And the Lord was trustworthy. Using seven buses our tribe of 300+ people trekked to Florida, went to five amusement parks in four days, performed music for adjudication, marched in a parade, won many awards, slept less than five hours a night, and ate terrible and expensive food. Each night the students were in their rooms on or before 12:30 AM (which means that after doing room checks the chaperones were in bed at around 1 to 1:30 AM). The students were up for breakfast at 6:30 AM (which means chaperones were up at 5:45 AM).
On the fifth day, Saturday at 10:20 PM, after two amusement parks, we boarded our busses to make our exodus from the Happiest Place on Earth toward home. Not a single student was left behind. To my knowledge there were no shenanigans or bad behavior. We returned home on Sunday evening, to the most blessed sight: our own beds.
I would not have gotten through it without keeping a gratitude list. That list is my next post.