In Like a Lion…?
By Kathi Macias
March is one of those in-between months that make planning anything nearly impossible. It doesn’t matter where you live—those hearty folks in Alaska or Minnesota, or the wimps (like me!) in Hawaii and Southern California—anything scheduled ahead of time had best be held indoors.
It’s almost worse for us California folks, who basically think the weather stinks if the temperature drops below 70 degrees. We go on picnics in December, hit the beach in February, and sit under the stars in November. At least people who live elsewhere have enough sense not to plan a child’s March birthday party outside.
But being a California girl, born and bred, when my young friend asked me to help host her four-year-old’s birthday party in their backyard in mid-March, it never occurred to me that it might not be a good idea.
My first hint that there might be a problem came the night before the party, when my husband asked if I’d checked the weather report. Now why would I do that? This was California, remember? I smiled and went on about my business.
The next morning I noticed something strange when I got up and noticed that our kitchen seemed a bit dark. Odd. Had I gotten up earlier than usual?
I checked the clock. Nope. It was Saturday morning, the day of the birthday party, and I had slept in until eight. Seemed about right. And yet…
Uh oh. The first flutter of concern disturbed my morning calm. What was it my husband had said about checking the weather?
I peeked out the window. Gray clouds covered the sky. Hmm… It wasn’t like I hadn’t seen clouds before, though I had to admit, not often. No problem, though. My friend and I would just make sure the kids kept their jackets on during the party.
By the time I left for my friend’s house, carefully balancing a strawberry sheet cake with marshmallow frosting, my husband was giving me that “are you sure you know what you’re doing” look that I was quite adept at ignoring. I waved to him as I pulled out of the driveway and told myself the three drops on the windshield were just some sort of weird condensation.
What can I say? The month of March, famous for blowing in like a lion, had no intention of morphing into a lamb for the day’s party. My friend, as naïve and hopeful as I, agreed with me that there was no reason to panic over a few clouds and a drop or two of moisture. We were confident it would all clear out by the time the children arrived, and so we proceeded to finish decorating the yard and setting up the food and favors outside.
The clouds cooperated just long enough for the party to get into full swing before unleashing buckets of water on all of us. Worse than trying to herd cats, we were now scampering to rush a group of dripping, drenched, crying, screaming children inside the house, plus making countless runs back and forth to rescue a soggy cake and soaked presents.
My friend’s four-year-old sobbed that it was the worst birthday ever, and all of her friends agreed with her. By the time I finally got home, looking like a cross between a drowned rat and a crazed pit bull, my husband wisely said nothing about the weather as he made me a cup of hot chocolate. But I couldn’t help but wonder if it was more than a coincidence that he chose the verse about “counting the cost” for our evening devotional time.
Whatever the reason, I now treat the month of March with a lot more respect—even if I do live in the Golden State.