It’s Friday! It’s Flag Day! I like this holiday. In a way, I feel pity for Flag Day. I mean, who other than communists, don’t like Old Glory? And yet, most people have no clue that June 14th is THE day to celebrate the Stars and Stripes. I remember one time about ten years ago. My soon-to-be brother-in-law, my sister, and I spent a relaxing Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. It was a beautiful day that began with lunch followed by a trip to a place I had actually never seen, despite my many trips to the City of Brotherly Love — the home of Betsy Ross. As we walked down the street and approached the house I took note of the unusually large crowd of people and the fife and drum corps in authentic colonial garb coming down the street after us. It was only after we were inside the house that we realized the contingent of Minutemen were not there to welcome yours truly, but because it was Flag Day. Duh.
This morning we went to the kids swimming lesson. Shortly after we arrived, my daughter took note of a tiny gray and white kitten nestled near the tire of a parked car in the driveway. This cat and his/her three siblings had been playfully running about, dodging the pesky humans all week long at this place. Not one of them would allow a single person close enough to pet it… until today! My baby girl, the kitty whisperer, walked over, crouched down, and gently petted the little thing. Just then, one of the adults opened the gate to the yard and announced that all of the cats were free to anyone who wanted to take one. I texted a picture of the best looking kitty to my wife and asked her: “PLEASE!?!!??!” Turns out that she wasn’t completely opposed to the idea. She just wants to wait until the kitchen is done. I told my daughter that if the kitty was still there next week we could take it as a sign.
Just then, my son’s lesson ended and my daughter went back for her lesson. I struck up a conversation with one of the mom’s (actually a younger grandma who had been watching her grandkids for a few days). I walked to my car for something and came back. On my way I started to hear sirens in the distance. My car was only about a hundred yards away but I’ll be darned if I didn’t notice those sirens getting louder. And sure enough, within seconds a bright and shiny firetruck was coming down this dead end street right towards us. Turns out ol’ grandma had left the two younger kids strapped into their seats in the running minivan while escorting her older grandson to the gate a few feet away. In that short time the car had automatically locked. She had immediately called 9-1-1. My son and I stood back and watched the guys do their job. After about ten minutes of prying and popping the got the door opened. I shouted across to them “As car thieves, you guys suck!” We all had a laugh. Then my son walked up (bold young man) and introduced himself. He proceeded to explain that he had just watched an episode of Modern Marvels about what people keep in their pockets and learned about a particular tool firemen use to quickly break auto glass. Said the fireman to my son: “I tell you what, son, I was just fixin’ to pop that tool too and take out that glass.” My son, unable to interpret Texan, politely smiled and backed away.
Back at home I raced to get the kiddies changed into dry clothes so we could head to the library. Today’s fare? Storytime! We had lots of fun. Yes, the crazy lady from the other day was back. This time she was reading stories about animals and their daddies. With Father’s Day coming up, I guess it fit the theme. After a bizarre story about a two humped camel with a one humped father (weird) she lead us all into the craft room. Here she handed all the young ones a set of construction paper, pre-cut into the shape of a peanut with arms and legs, and a larger sheet of construction paper (not cut). Each group of about five kids also got a box with lots of crayons and several glue sticks. In short, I got to spend the next twenty minutes helping my kids make me a Father’s Day card. And you know what? I loved every minute of it. The peanuts? Oh yeah, the cards said “I’m nuts about you, Dad!”