A few weeks back, we planned to meet up with another FS family, one we knew through blogging but hadn't actually met. (I won't tell you who they are, but her first initial is "A" and he is better known by his nickname, "Fits Crap in Minivan.")
We were going to meet at our hotel one afternoon. Afternoons, as you will know if you have kids, are fraught with danger, because you never know if your child will be in pre-dinner meltdown mode or post-nap snuggly mode. So I warned the kids in advance: "We are going to the hotel courtyard to meet a new family. He works with daddy, and so you MUST behave, or face dire consequences." With such a threat in place, we headed down to the courtyard to meet A and her husband.
I was armed with sparkling water (no sugar) and pretzels (again, no sugar). I also brought bubbles (but no wand, duh) and some sort of battery-powered kid toys (but no screwdriver to open the battery compartments, again, duh).
We talked for quite awhile. Mr. Fitscrap and Bart discussed DSS and RSO, ATA and WFO, while A and I chatted about UAB, POVs, CLOs and REOs. That sorta important government stuff. (EF'M, you would've loved it.)
All the while, the kids ran around, shouting and playing and generally being quite good, if a bit loud. No matter though, because we were the only ones in the courtyard.
The door opened, and an older gentleman walked into the courtyard, book under his arm, prim wife beside him. They looked at the kids, and the wife gave the husband a knowing look. He disappeared inside, and my heart sank. He's going to complain about noisy kids on the patio, I thought. Grumpy old guy. We kept chatting, but I was on edge, waiting for the hotel staff to come kick us out.
The man returned, carrying a small bag. He sat at the table behind us and set his book aside. Then he reached into the bag and pulled out a pile of colorful somethings. He proceeded to turn those bits of color into balloon animals for my kids. He made puppies for the girls and swords for the boys, while his wife looked on, smiling now. He made a purple braclet for Ainsley and a hat for Shay. He kept going for thirty minutes or so, creating these magical toys while my kids looked on. Once they were happily running around hitting each other over the head with a near-endless supply of swords, he put the bag away and started to read his book. Ainsley pulled up a chair at his table and stared at him in wonder. Shay interrupted his reading to do a juggling demonstration, which the man enthusiastically applauded.
We four, the Fitscraps, my husband and I, continued to chat as if nothing unusual was happening. But I tell you: the sun got sunnier when that gentleman appeared on the patio with his bag of balloons. The birds chirped; the flowers grew. Even the government acronyms became clearer.
Sometimes, just when you least expect it, God throws an angel down to walk the earth beside you. I got my angel that day.