This morning, the power went out to about 4,000 homes in Minneapolis – mine included.
And it was a lovely morning – gray and damp, with the yellow glow of candles and a fire in the hearth. It was beautiful. And amazingly, though I’m normally hollering to high heaven trying to get these kids organized in the morning, this morning they were dressed, washed, brushed and minty fresh a good thirty minutes early. Leo and Cordelia nestled together by the fire with A Diary of A Wimpy Kid open on their laps, Cordelia reading to her brother.
And, I admit it, I got a little misty.
But the lack of power has consequences – mine being a car packed to the ceiling with kids. Here’s what happened: Because I drive a minivan, and because there were other folks in the neighborhood who couldn’t get into their garages to open their garage door since they only had one door to the garage and, without electricity, it only opens from the inside (D’OH!), my neighbors were desperate. So we shoved a bunch of kids into my car and trundled on into the road.
More kids than seatbelts? I’m not telling.
Anyway, it didn’t take long, in that crush of kids and backpacks and salt-crusted coats, that someone started to sing.
Jingle bells, Batman smells,
Robin laid an egg.
“Oh that is BORING,” one kid said. “Sing this instead:
Joy to the world!
We barbecued his head!
The boys (they were, aside from Cordelia, all boys. It was a mountain of boys, a sea of boys, universes upon universes upon universes of boys) laughed until they drooled.
One boy – a redhead – said: “Do you guys know the Dreidel song?”
I have a little dreidel
I made it out of snow
I put it in the oven
HEY DREIDEL WHERE’D YOU GO?
I snorted to that one.
Leo piped in:
What’s that smell?
I can’t tell.
“MOM!” Cordelia roared. “THERE ARE TOO MANY BOYS IN THIS CAR!”
“I agree, darling,” I said. “Boys! No more fart songs.”
Apparently, a gauntlet had been thrown. The boys, opened their mouths and sang in unison. They already knew the words. It was as though they had tapped into a fart-joke-hive-mind.
Away in a butt-crack
A baby did fart,
They sang lustily, greedily, with wild abandon.
“That didn’t even make any sense,” I said.
“Yes it did,” they assured me in unison. Even their inflection matched. Then they began to sing again.
Rudolph the farting reindeer
had some very noxious gas.
And if you ever smelled it
“We need a word that rhymes with ‘gas’,” one boy said.
“And it should have something to do with farting,” another boy said.
“What rhymes with gas?” still another queried. “Mass, lass….. think of words that have an ‘ass’ in it.”
There was a terrible pause. A car full of naughty minds all turned at once.
I had to think fast.
Up on the housetop, I sang at the top of my lungs.
Santa’s reindeer had to go.
The car erupted. And the boys joined in. And nobody swore on purpose. The boys, though potty-mouthed, remained relatively pure.
It was a Christmas Miracle!