Monday, November 30, 2009

A Von Trapp family Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. Nick and I finally got back from Maryland last night at about 12:30. Worst. Traffic. Ever. Seriously, a trip that was supposed to take 8 hours took almost 11 hours. It should have taken longer but I was past the point of nagging my husband about his tendency to speed and merely kept my mouth shut.

We had a great weekend with Nick's family though. I love visiting my in-laws but I am always just totally spent by the time we get home. They are not restful people, but that is why I like them and, in a way, why I married my husband. There is always screaming and chaos and confusion and changing plans and completely hysterical laughter. It is quite a pleasant shock to my persona of ruthless German efficiency.

On Wednesday we were about 2 hours away from the DC area when Nick just starts giggling to himself. I, of course, inquire about this. He responds with, "Well, you know how my mom sorta gets the jump on us when we show up," (Which is absolutely true. I don't know how she does it but every time we visit she is outside screaming before we have even turned off the car.) Nick continues, "well, I was thinking about how funny it would be if we could sneak in."

So within a few minutes Nick is on the phone with his brother (Mathieu), who is out at the moment so Mathieu calls the house to have one of Nick's other sisters stealthily unlock the door leading into the basement. Then at about 8:30 my mother-in-law calls Nick to check our progress on the road and Nick starts in with this huge melodramatic, "Oh Mom, there is so much traffic. I think there has been an accident or something. We are totally stuck it is going to be a while." Which, true to form, she immediately checks traffic on the Internet and calls Nick back within about 10 minutes explaining that she "found the accident" and they had just cleaned it up and surrounding traffic was starting to move again. Nick started to get a little nervous about being able to pull everything off.

My mother-in-law is pretty much a maternal mystic. She is the type of mom that could simply wake up in the middle of the night and know one of her kids, no matter where they are in the world, are in trouble. Nick joked, "I don't know if we can pull this off. I half expect her to be at the basement door when we show up and I'll ask 'Mom, what are you doing here?' and when she is done screaming about us being home she'll answer, 'I don't know, I just had a feeling I should come stand by this door.'"

About 30 minutes later we arrive in their neighborhood and very carefully pull up to the culdesac, lights off, all Von Trapp family style and park a few houses away. We open our doors just enough to turn on the dome light and just in time to see my father-in-law cross the street. We both freeze and slowly duck behind the dash. As soon as the coast was clear I grabbed the cat bag and Nick grabbed the dog and we dashed across the pavement and out of view behind the house. We tiptoed around back to the door leading into their basement and carefully snuck in. With Nick leading the way we made our way to the stairs and Nick crept to the top unleashed our dog, Bennet, and let him slip through the door. We heard my mother-in-law start to scold their dog for barking when she stopped mid-sentance and screamed "BENNET!!! How did you get in here? Where are they?" At which point she comes tearing around the corner, laughing her head off, to find us and scream and laugh some more.

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