so we were on our way home saturday night when we heard it.
we'd spent the better part of saturday rushing around like crazy people, a day that culminated in a dreaded (but necessary) trip to The Mall. we were there to do one thing: purchase ezra's big christmas present. a buzz lightyear doll. I should also preface this by saying the ez has been a little out of sorts lately. nothing major, just the usual toddler stuff-- super wiggly, extra grouchy with a whine that makes you to want to pull eyelashes out one by one. by saturday night, we were all on the verge of something big and ugly but somehow, we made it. we made it through the day without any major meltdowns, the dignity of the family fairly intact. most importantly, buzz lightyear made it to the car with ezra none the wiser. this might not seem like a major thing but not too much gets by the kid and ward and I were basking in it. we were feeling pretty cocky, ready to celebrate. and-- the wiggling and the crying and the whining had finally stopped. when I caught sight of ezra's heavy-lidded eyes, I felt the sort of relief that only comes at the end of this kind of day. the car was silent. dear readers, it was a thing of beauty.
and then we heard it. loud and clear and from the trunk:
"BUZZ LIGHTYEAR TO THE RESCUE!"
"TO INFINITY AND BEYOOOOOOND!"
ward and I looked at each other in horror. we looked back at ezra and his eyes immediately popped open. he was wild with excitement, as if the rescue he'd been waiting so long for had finally come, as if he'd always known it would happen this way. his mouth made the tiniest little 'o' and his eyes were wide as silver dollars. he could barely speak. ward abruptly stopped the car. we looked at each other, waited for a divine intervention of sorts. silence. and then ezra began to scream for buzz, pointing upwards and backwards, laughing, struggling to turn around in his car seat.
in an instant, it was clear what we must do. we must play dumb. we must pretend we had not heard the Voice From The Back. we turned the radio on, spoke to him soothingly, pleaded with him to go back to sleep but the child, he knew. HE KNEW WHAT HE HAD HEARD. and he was not about to abandon hope. he screamed, MY BUZZ MY BUZZ MY BUZZ and if he'd had the words he would have said, I KNOW I'M NOT CRAZY, I KNOW WHAT I HEARD. friends, there was nothing to do but to keep on driving. and hope against all hopes he'd fall back asleep. and forget. and he did. fall back asleep, that is, but he did not forget. at three in the morning, he remembered. at six in the morning, he remembered. at eight, he put a set of car keys into the hands of his very groggy father, pulled him towards the front door. BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ in back, he'd say. b a c k. slowly and with great emphasis, in case there might be any confusion as to the exact location of his beloved buzz. still, we continued to feign ignorance.
and it broke my heart just a little, but it had to be done. come christmas morning, the pay-off will be monumental. cameras will be charged and ready to go.
well, unless we pull another rookie stunt and mess that up too.