“Here, put this in the basket.” Judith directed the children like a sergeant on D-Day.
A flurry of activity centered in the kitchen as they prepared for the Annual Ladies Auxiliary picnic. She placed the container of floweret cut radishes in front of Cindy. Will was in charge of sandwiches. He opened a beautifully wrapped sandwich and took a bite. “Ew. What’s this?”
Judith snatched the food from his hand. “These are cucumber sandwiches.” She placed the rest into the picnic basket. “I told you children that these are for the Ladies Auxiliary. Everything has to be perfect.”
“Won’t there be hot dogs?”
“I’m not sure,” she wiped down the counter with a tea towel. “I made you peanut butter and jelly just to be safe.”
Cindy rolled her eyes, “What a stupid question, doofus. These are ladies, and they won’t have the yummy food like hotdogs and chips.”
“But it’s a picnic.”
“It’s not that kind of picnic.” She held out her pinky finger and put her nose in the air. “The hoity-toity will be there.”
“That’s enough, kids.” Bill walked into the kitchen. He lifted the ice cooler and handed it to Cindy and Will. “Load this into the wagon.” The kids rushed out of the kitchen, eager to get away from their mother.
Judith noticed Bill’s weary expression. She knew he worked hard, and it was because of her. Ever since her best friend Annie married a wealthy man, Judith wanted the same thing.
“It looks like it might rain. Are you sure you want to go to this shindig?”
Annoyance made her reply sharp. “This is a big deal, not everyone gets invited, you know.”
Bill walked around the table and hugged her. “Judy, Judy, Judy,” he started his horrible Cary Grant imitation. She leaned into his hug.
A shout from outside broke the moment. Bill sighed. “I got this. You finish here, and we’ll hit the road.”
Judith carried the rest of the items out to the station wagon and overheard Bill talking to the kids as they cleaned up the mess. The cooler had tipped over, and everything was in the driveway. “…this is important to your mother. You two have to be on your best behavior the whole day.”
“Why does she care about a bunch of old ladies?” Will ran in circles not really helping.
Cindy crawled under the tailgate to retrieve a soda. “Ever since Aunt Annie joined them she’s always so mad.”
“Aunt Annie used to be fun too.” He stopped spinning. “Is Mom going to stop being fun?”
Cindy snorted, “She already did. And she’s not even in the club yet.”
“This club can offer all kinds of opportunities for her.” He tapped each of them on the nose. “Don’t worry, she’ll still be fun. Now go inside and change into nicer clothes.”
On the way towards the picnic ground, Judith thought about what the kids said. When did she stop being fun?
Suddenly the rain started pouring making visibility tricky. Bill pulled over and said, “I’m sorry honey, I know this is important to you. But we can’t go anywhere until this clears up.”
Judy looked at her family and smiled. “You know what? Let’s have a picnic here, in the back of the wagon.”
They had the best time, laughing and joking and didn’t even notice when the rain cleared up.