Here's what happened. I sat down in my chair last night at about 9:00, ready to type this post. I put my laptop on top of my lap, and promptly fell asleep before I even opened it. I woke up six hours later with a crick in my neck and no blog entry written. The blog elves did not come and cobble it together for me this time.
Anyway, yesterday was all about time spent with kids. It was my final visit to the All Saints Chess Club for 2012. I didn't get to see Blake this time. Every Wednesday, a group of second graders from All Saints goes to the Ronald McDonald House to help out there and bake cookies for the guests, and yesterday was one of his days to go. Still, there were about 10 kids who did come yesterday, so it was a pretty full house.
The children started coming in a few at a time. Some set up boards while others just watched or visited. A boy named Ryan asked if I would play with him. A while back, I reached the decision that I wouldn't ever take it easy on these kids, mostly because I'm not good enough to take it easy on them. Still, after a few opening moves, it seemed like Ryan may have been struggling, so I pulled back a little. Kid hustled me. I spent the rest of the game watching him mop my pieces off of the board.
But that's not the real story of yesterday. The weathermen had all predicted severe winds yesterday, but it was still calm when I arrived at the school. At about 12:30, though, one of the kids shouted "The storm is here!" and then you could literally hear the exact moment when the wall of wind and dust slammed into the side of the school. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that it felt like the building actually moved a little bit. Besides Ryan, the rest of the kids just entirely lost interest in chess at that point, and went into full-on Crazytown mode. I'm thinking that maybe in addition to other safety-related talks they've probably received at school this week, their teachers may have taken the chance to review severe weather safety, too, because this crowd was ready to dive into the bunkers. I am not making this up: a few of them just started running laps around the library. One of them kept poking his head outside before coming back in to report, "It's still so windy!" Two boys took every book about weather that they could find off of the shelves, and started looking for information about dust storms. Sorry about that, Mrs. Gretzler. So, between moves with Ryan, who was getting increasingly impatient with waiting to beat me, I was making the rounds of the room, trying to introduce a little bit of calmness to things, assuring the children that everything was going to be OK, and not to listen to the first grader who insisted that a tornado was just outside.
It was quite an hour.
But the child-related chaos was not over, for, you see, last night was the children's Christmas Pageant at our church, and if you guessed that maybe one of my children did something to draw attention to themselves, well I just don't know what would have given you that idea.
Here are all three of them pre-show. Ava was a sheep, and Blake and Jack were both shepherds. Also, look at the adorable little girl behind Jack! That's our friends Marcy and Clay's daughter Addison.