Today is the highest of Mitchell family holidays: the celebration of the birth of Luke. Yes, six years ago on this day we all looked down at that little baby and handed over our hearts, and our wallets. His birth changed our lives forever. I remember about 15 months after he was born I looked at my Mom and said "what did we talk about before Luke was born?" "I don't know," she answered, "but it couldn't have been that important."
The birthday festivities actually started on Saturday. That is when around 30 screaming five and six year olds, along with their parents, stormed my parents' backyard for a party. My Dad set up the pool, and my Mom put out enough food to feed an army. Of course, year round they have all kinds of toys, and a pirate ship play yard that is every child's dream. My parents bought it from an Amish company soon after Luke was born and it was shipped across the prairie on a flatbed truck before weighing anchor in a bark pit specially built to house it. What I am trying to say is there was plenty for party guests to do. However, that wasn't enough for my Mom and Sister. Oh no, not for Luke's birthday.
I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but my Mother is an evil genius. She can make things happen that no one else can. Seriously, I think it has been raining in Utah for weeks because my Mom looked up one day and said "I like this rain." It is that power to change the weather that brought firemen to her house, just for Luke's party. Well, that and three huge pizzas.
You should have seen the kids' eyes when the fire truck pulled up (they were almost as big as my parents' neighbors who assumed there had been some kind of terrible accident). Those little bodies swarmed the truck, wanting to see and touch everything. Luckily, the firemen (no ladies) were game, loved to talk, and pointed out everything the kids wanted to see. Of course, they had to take a moment to talk about fire safety, telling the kids about when to call 9-1-1, and what to do if they happened to catch on fire (I think they just wanted to see them rolling on the grass). One of them even showed them how quickly he could put on his suit, and all the Moms (and some Dads) gasped when he stripped down to his t-shirt to start the process. The best part though, was the fire hose.
There was nothing funny about what happened at Kent State. However, watching little kids get plowed down by a high powered stream of water is absolutely hi-larious. I mean, it was funny until one of them sprayed me, and then I went all Tianamen Square on their asses. After all, I was the one who cut the crusts of the little sandwiches, motherfuckers!
Actually, I didn't. After all, I am friend to man and beast. I just took pictures of them all to sell to their prom dates in later years. Then I lead in the hardy round of applause for the fire fighters, and went back to serve cake.
The rest of the party was the regular bullshit. Cake. Presents. Ice Cream. Crying. You know, everything you remember from your 30th. After all, my Mom and Sister may have the power to get firemen to bend to their wills, but they cannot stop people from buying stupid plastic toys that will be discarded within weeks, or bakers from using lard in frosting.
Honestly though, the best part of the day, was when the kids left. The clouds came in half way through the party, but the rain didn't start until right after Luke blew out the candles. Then the kids snarfed their sweets, and their parents rushed them out, afraid of flash floods. It was as if God said "Happy Birthday, Luke. Party's over." Or maybe that was my Mom...
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