Just so ya'll know, I have never been one of those people who just wanders around outside the house in my pajamas. I've never quite gotten the reason why people can't just slip on some clothes and go about their lives and leave the pj's at home - where they belong. Now on the nights I wear pajamas (shush, I know what you're thinking) I prefer to have very comfortable pajamas. Just this past year, I actually bought some pretty AND comfortable pajamas. I love them. I love them so much I could get rid of all the others and be happy with this one set. Unfortunately this kind of thinking tends to make people want to wear their pajamas outside of the home. This case is no exception.
In the mornings at our house, it is always a lazy wake up time, followed by a rushed feeling to eat breakfast and get the teeth clean, followed by a complete panic and frenzy to catch the bus. The bus stop takes forever to travel to, but only if you're late. It's at the end of our driveway. If one kid doesn't catch the bus in time (missing shoe, misplaced homework, etc...) that kid gets a free ride to school courtesy of Mom. I don't mind doing it, the school isn't that far away (and truthfully it gives me a few extra minutes to apologize and get forgiveness for yelling at whoever is in the car for not hurrying up earlier) but it does mean that I have to change out of my favorite pajamas lots sooner than I had planned (which is sometimes a really good thing, if you know what I'm saying).
A few days ago, my firstborn asked the question. You know, the one question you've been asking yourself inside your own brain for weeks, that when someone else finally verbalizes the question, it seems to makes things completely legitimate just because someone else spoke the words? "Mom, why don't you just wear your pajamas instead of getting dressed?"
The girl is a genius. Why I had never thought of that I'll never know! I gave her some lame reason like, "Well, you really just never know when you need to be dressed in clothes when you go outside." I then proceeded to explain how one of my favorite speakers at our recent Women of Faith conference talked about wearing "Flu" pants outside to take care of a dead goat. We've all got Flu pants, she stated. The kind you wear when you're sick, and you may or may not be wearing underwear under them? The kind that, in her story, tend to fall down when your hands are occupied and you can't pull them up - but only when you're in your own field in full view of a busy highway, and it's either drop the dead goat or drop your pants? Yeah - I gave my daughter that excuse, and she just rolled her eyes. "Like stuff like that actually ever happens! And who doesn't ever wear underwear??" Ahem... carrying on...
So yesterday, we had one of those days where the kids scurry around like just-discovered-barn-rats, and as luck would have it, one of them needed a ride. Either that or I forgot to wake them up in time, I just don't recall. (Hey, it's hard to make sure four kids are actually out of bed before I've even had coffee, ok?? I see kids moving about, I just assume there are four of them.) So I don't exactly recall which school I had to visit that morning (seeing as how if three of them miss the bus, I literally have to travel to three different schools) but it was one of them, and it was a short drive, and I was really, REALLY tired. I had all intentions of going straight back to bed as soon as I heard the bus drive away. But here I was thinking of how to expend the least amount of energy possible.
So - I put the good advice of my thirteen year old daughter to use. I put my coat on, shoved my feet into my Nike's and grabbed my car keys. I gingerly stepped out the door into the carport, noticed there were no other parents driving by and proceeded to thank the good Lord that I always park with my drivers side to the field and not the road. I made a mad dash for the car before anyone, including our early riser neighbors, could spot my really loud pajama pants. There was no mistaking they were pajamas. If you saw someone who normally only wears some shade of denim on her legs wearing a flashy white and black scroll motif instead, you'd know they were pajamas from three acres away - in the fog.
I was home free. I drove my kid to school (still don't recall which one) and I watched every stop sign, left turn signal and speed limit too, just to make sure I didn't have any reason to get pulled over by one of our town's finest. I just knew it would be my luck that if I got pulled over the apple juice sitting in the furthest seat back in our suburban would have become fermented, leading to a search of my vehicle, and an arrest for open container, all in my pajamas while all the other parents who always wear clothes and underwear drove by and laughed at me. I had to make myself scarce. Fear gripped my heart.
The drive home was pretty slow - because apparently on all other mornings I don't see speed limit signs? Either that or I was just paranoid. I was so relieved to pull back into our driveway and release all that pent up paranoia when what did I see? No less than 13 farm workers had descended on my field and were busily picking lettuce. Oh good gravy, who on earth scheduled that? So carefully, I pulled into the driveway, made a big display as if I had something that burndoned me to unload from the back of the Suburban, and I backed up as close to the carport as I could get. Nobody would see me now! Of course all of my maneuvering made every one of those 13 farmer guys watch to see what I was up to, when in all reality they might never have noticed me in the first place, seeing as how they were knee deep in lettuce, kale, chard and all sorts of other things green.
My plan appeared to be working though, because there was only about two feet of space that they might catch a glimpse of me zipping by in my brilliant black and white get-up. They'd probably think I was wearing a lovely flowing skirt - or perhaps dress pants - yes, they'd think that. What with my flurry of fuzzy hair sticking out all over the place and my raccoon eyes from the makeup I'd been too tired to wash off the night before. Yeah, they'd totally go for that.
So, blissfully unaware of my surroundings, I stepped out of the car. I proceeded to gather my purse and other things I evidently left in the vehicle overnight - all while gleefully smiling at the fact that none of the farmers could see me, and I was wearing my pajamas! Neener neener! I'd done it!
Boy had I done it all right. It suddenly occurred to me that the one child I had taken to school was the one who had to arrive EARLY and that the strange noise I was hearing behind me was the brakes of the school bus pulling up, and all the cars before and behind it coming to a stop. How, in the name of all things rational, could I have let THIS happen? My raccoon eyes were WIDE open and the grin still plastered on my face as the bus driver waved at me, and I frantically waved her on by. She probably thought I was sure a friendly sort, with all the smiling and waving and such. Little did she know that right there, in that very spot, I was making new committments. I was committing to never wearing my pajamas outside the house ever again, and I was committing to never doubt the fact that I AM smarter than an 8th grader.