Kumbaya with the McClelland’s

The Pittsburgh McClelland’s just got back from spending a long weekend with the Rhode Island McClelland’s.  My brother and his wife Audrey, much to the delight and relief of their mothers, finally had their four heathen children baptized.  From what I can gather from “The Captain” and Sharon, God has little mercy on the souls of ANYONE, old or young alike, who has not received the blessed sacrament of baptism.  (Let it be said, if God is willing to send these four boys to Hell, I consider myself to be in grave danger).

Nevertheless, it is a big relief to everyone, most notably to Audrey and Matthew, that this blessed event is in the books; in equal part for their sons’ salvation from the fires of Hell AND in successfully getting the grandmothers off their backs.  (I’ll note that nagging/gentle prodding from “The Captain” and/or Sharon is akin to eternal damnation.  These two don’t mess around.)

After this action packed visit with our neighbors to the north, I thoughtuse this blog post to share with you what a “long” weekend with the McClelland’s looks like…

  • When I say long, I mean getting to the airport no less than three hours early per “The Captain’s” iron tight itinerary.  In this day and age she believes you can never be too early, especially with that tricky electronic ticketing and pre-boarding.  Weren’t these novel innovations meant to save time?
  • When I say long, I mean flying with a 5-and-a-half month old and all the requisite equipment.  I’m convinced I could launch an all-out assault on Canada with far less ammunition.
  • When I say long, I mean I’m still on crutches; thus requiring a wheelchair escort and entourage similar to the freaking Beckham’s.
  • When I say long, I mean an airport security agent’s wet dream.  Imagine how suspicious an industrial, electric breast pump must look rolling past them on the X-ray screen.  I also came equipped with enough bags of breast milk to feed all of the neighborhood children, just in case our plane should be stranded on the tarmac…for a month and a half.  I was frisked, groped, patted down, and dusted by a posse of TSA agents.  I’ll admit to being a bit turned on.
  • When I say long I mean trying to entertain Jeffrey during our 3-hour tour, praying that I wouldn’t be chastised by the other passengers for being the one who spawned the screaming child.  No one wants to be that parent.  I planned in advance to pass him off as “the Captain” and Mr. Wonderful’s progeny should he have a meltdown. Modern medicine is full of miracles.
  • When I say long, I mean eleven bodies shacking up in a three bedroom house, six of whom hadn’t yet made it to the first grade.  I can count the minutes where no one was crying or fighting on one hand; I’m talking about the adults.
  • When I say long, I mean long like William’s t-ball game.  Ever been to a 6-year-old’s t-ball game?  Then you understand.
  • When I say long, I mean “the Captain” assigned each of us a time slot to shower before the baptism, even though it wasn’t her house.
  • When I say long, I mean a baptismal service that concluded with enough photos snapped to make Lindsay Lohan appear underexposed.  I’m wondering if any of Audrey’s family members are moonlighting for TMZ?  Dear GOD those people can take some pictures.
  • When I say long, I mean sitting at the kid’s end of the table at the reception hall post-baptism.  The boy’s kept one another entertained by playing “Try and grab my junk.”  I had a tough time joining in on this fun party game.  I also passed on seeing how much bread I could fit in my mouth at one time.
  • When I say long, I mean I dropped Jeffrey off at the sitter’s house on the way home from the airport.   I did not go home.  I did not pass GO.  I did not collect $200.  I was beat.
  • When I say long, I mean I immediately fell into a 3-hour coma of a nap. Drool on the pillow.

That’s the kind of long I’m talking about.  When I say “long” weekend, I mean loooooooooooooong weekend.

Oddly enough I can’t stop thinking about how much I miss all of us being together, and how I wish we lived closer so that we could see each other more often.  Call me a glutton for punishment, but there is no substitution for some good ol’ fashion family bonding–McClelland style.

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