Bill and I went to a grown up party last night. It was a German-food themed progressive party: appetizers at the house across the street, a sit-down dinner next door, and dessert at another neighbor’s house. It was nice not to have little people constantly interrupting me with their pressing needs.
Of course, my two youngest children are doing everything possible to convince me that I should never do anything like that again. Both were up multiple times last night in utter misery. Pete spent two hours in my bed fussing and fidgeting before I put him back in his room where he screamed for a good five minutes before returning to sleep. Jenny is on the floor right now in tears because she doesn’t know where her backpack is. Going to bed at 10 pm is never a good thing.
And, unfortunately, there is only one convenient Mass around here. Today would be a good day to go in shifts.
Perhaps the nicest thing about this party last night was discovering that I have a good number of neighbors who like to drink. In military communities, you usually find a good chunk of people like that, but you also find an unhealthy dose of teetotalers. They are generally good, Christian folk who are most likely to be seen heading for church on Sunday morning.
Of course, my family has the appearance of being good, Christian folk and we can be seen heading for church on Sunday mornings, too. And we homeschool to boot. I’m quite certain that many neighbors over the years have confused us with these non-drinking types. “No, no,” I want to say, “We’re Catholic! We use real wine at our church!”
Generally, actions speak louder than words, but with an 8 month old gestational baby along with me, I was drinking water. Fun, fun. Full responsibility for showcasing our drinking philosophy fell on Bill’s shoulders. I think he did a good job. I was left to pathetically insist that I really do like alcohol, honest, do I have to tell you some drinking stories? in an effort to not look like Ms. Goody-Two-Shoes. Geez, you’d think I was nineteen again.
We’re having our Oktoberfest party in two weeks. The German beer is always a big hit, but I think the various schnapps and Jägermeister shots do much to demonstrate to our new friends that, among the church-going crowd, Catholics have the best parties. I’m not sure the boys have lederhosen that fit, my dirndl doesn’t have a maternity cut, and I fear this apron wouldn’t get here in time from Germany, so some of our usual ambiance will be lacking. Hopefully our decorations and the German food will make up for lack of decent clothing.
Just before I left the party last night to come home and let the poor teenaged babysitter go to his own bed to sleep, I was explaining to one neighbor that having a party a week or two before giving birth was no big deal. This is our fourth Oktoberfest, and we’ve got it down to a science, I think. Plus, having a party with an infant is much more difficult. She insisted that she thought I was pretty crazy for such an endeavor. As I walked away, I told her that Bill and I do everything we can to prove to the world that we are, in fact, the craziest neighbors they will ever know.
And now I need to go deal with three children who are in lousy moods from lack of sleep and get everyone out the door for Mass. We Catholics can’t let a little thing like a late-night party get in the way of giving glory to God.