Ancient History

Follow Me?


Wherever we go

“Are you having a birthday party?” the conductor asked my husband as we exited the historic Ft. Collins trolley.

“No. It’s just us.”

We were having a family outing to the north-flung areas of Colorado, winding our way around country roads until we arrived in Ft. Collins. On weekends, history and transportation enthusiasts can ride the city’s adorable trolley. Because it was a family outing, we decided we would all ride. Not everyone enjoyed it, especially the older kids who acted as if their rides were being broadcast live on the smartboards of the nation’s high schools. The rest of us enjoyed the scent of lilacs on the breeze, the charming original woodwork and wicker benches, tree-lined streets with houses sporting wrap-around porches, and learning the history of railroad nationalization. Or maybe that was just me.

Our family took up a nice slice of the trolley, even though the three little guys sat on laps. Everyone was well-behaved, minding the conductor’s advice to keep arms inside because the trolley line passed trees that were so close, they’d take your arm off! Later, I wondered if this was actually true. It seemed like the kind of thing that would make news if it happened: Woman Loses Arm to Tree in Freak Low-Speed Trolley Catastrophe!

The ride seemed relatively inconspicuous, for us. I’m always relieved when we enter and exit a place without fanfare, being counted, being questioned, being stared at—and we almost made it until asked if we were a birthday party. Maybe we should have just said yes, it’s a party. No birthday, though.

When you have this many people together, it’s baffling. Nobody would purposely have a family this big, so it has to be something else. A sports team? Daycare? If the questioner concludes we are indeed a family and not some bizarre multi-aged roller hockey squad, we are asked if we’re done, if we are rich, or if we are Catholic or Mormon. Does anyone go up to a random mom and dad with two kids at a restaurant and ask what religion they are or if they are having more? Never. Ever.


But I’ve made peace with the questions, however silly or rude. Having a large family mostly rocks. Having a large family means we do get to celebrate a lot. You’ll never find me complaining about all the mornings I get to wake up and remember it’s a red letter day. It means when you see us, you might conclude it’s a party and that’s not far from the truth.

2 comments to Wherever we go

  • Mom

    yep, it is mostly a party at your house. I marvel at how you find ways to get out and enjoy. The big kids just wouldn’t admit that they probably had a good time too. From Smugpenguin Love your anti-spam words

  • Came over to say Happy Birthday and I don’t know how I missed this post!!! Every single Wednesday afternoon my kids ask a couple of friends over, each (!)… it’s how I cope with the endless play date requests. That means we have at least 30 if not forty kids over for a play. Ranging from 0 to 16… they usually all play tag or red rover together until they just can’t anymore. And the neighbor says every single week:” “ooh are you having a party”… We have eight kids not fifty-two, but whatever!!!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>