This is what I get for spending more time in the kitchen and turning off the TV on a lovely spring evening. I was feeling all smug with my meat sauce and brown rice fusilli. Little did I know that while my ragu blipped away my angels were behind the garage hurling river rocks through our lawn chairs.
Maybe they weren't happy with the color? The aesthetic got on their nerves? Their language is still too coarse to articulate such grievances, such attacks on their sophisticated senses of design, so when grilled, they looked stunned.
Then Hamish got it. His eyes flickered with recognition. He understood that he'd broken a fundamental Miller rule, the No Destroying Our Shit rule that usually goes unspoken because it's so blazingly obvious. Shocked into this realization he began to sob, this without me even going ballistic. Because I'm not really that attached to a stack of green plastic chairs. But the principle matters. Meaning, I raised my voice but didn't slam any doors or turn purple or scream my throat raw. I was just, "What the fuck were you thinking?" Kidding! I didn't really say that. I KNOW they couldn't have been thinking a damn thing.
Stella on the other hand, when I pointed out that they'd destroyed FIVE chairs, turned her deadly little palms skyward and said, "Well, you still have one more, Mommy." And I said, "You know what, honey? You're right. I should thank you for being so considerate to save me a seat I can actually sit on, so I can then cradle my tender skull in my hands and worry, what the hell is next? the minivan?"
What actually happened next is that we had a playdate with some new acquaintances, a few wild children of the unschooled beef-heart eating cart-wheeling tree-climbing variety-- three long-haired waifs who got right to work in my back yard creating fabulous fairy habitats out of old plastic plant pots, pot shards, dirt and azalea branches while my pale non-tree-climbing TV-loving kids gazed upon them, slack-jawed.
After this radical bunch departed a few hours later my own indoorsy brood got some ideas. They grabbed the blade-like broken plastic bits of chairs and built upon the fairy theme by creating an entire town.
They added pipe-cleaners and patriotic flair. Stella crafted see-saws. Hamish made sure the fairies had a TV, a swimming pool and a bridge with a tender name that I cannot remember for the life of me. I sat on the one good chair, writing out masking tape labels and feeling pretty good about a pile of destroyed property.
My driveway looks like the municipal dump, but hey. It's all good in the end. Because every fairy deserves a good home.