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The Party Starts When We Arrive

Jack’s pediatrician visit fell at an awkward point in the afternoon requiring me to check all four boys out early and lug the whole shebang with me. You never realize how small those exam rooms are until you try to cram five people in them — six if you count Dr. Hamm. To free up floor space, I’d allowed two to play plumber under the sink and the other two were playing auto mechanic under the examining table. I figured we’d just load up on the free hand-sanitizer at check out.

This freed up enough space for Dr. Hamm to actually enter the room and do his job — something that gets iffier as the kid-to-grown-up ratio increases. Once we were finally done, then came the task of herding my plumbers and auto-mechanics out of their new playroom and down the hall to check out. There was the usual jostling and pushing at the doorway, but public school rules won out, and everyone fell into line behind Jack. At that point, he yelled, “Conga!” and all four boys cha cha-ed down the hall, throwing their hands in the air on every fourth beat.

I don’t often question what we look like to the outside world, having long ago decided it was better not to know. But I couldn’t help but wonder what sort of impression we left behind that day. Not that it makes a difference in how I felt about the whole thing. Watching those four awesome little weirdos dance their way out the door…I can honestly say it was one of the proudest moments I’ve had in parenting. With hearts that happy, everything else will fall into place.

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