Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Pig Pickin' Memories

A few months ago at one of the street parties, one of the dads said, "We should do a pig pickin'." We all laughed, and then the men started plotting. After a couple of weeks, this thing was starting to happen. Someone knew someone who had a smoker. Someone else knew the owner of a meat market. A couple of moms jumped on the details, and before long official invites went out for a Memorial Day weekend pig pickin' for the street party crew. 

The plan had been to have the event on Sunday, but the weather had other ideas. Instead of picking up the pig on Saturday morning and having the day to prep, Marty and Jeff picked the pig up, prepped it, and then had it on the smoker by 11. We decided to just let it cook, maybe hang out, and then actually eat at Sunday lunch.

By late afternoon Saturday, though, we got the text that burgers and hot dogs were going in the grill for Saturday dinner. By 4, the whole street party was out, and like stone soup dinner was in process. We had some chips and lettuce and pickles for burgers. Other people brought meat, some buns, some fruit. Grills were moved to the end of one driveway:
 Dinner was served:
This giggly group played with very few glitches.Once the sun set, a fire pit was moved to the end of another driveway and smores happened.

Marty's cousins were passing through and joined us, and she just kept asking, "It is always like this?" Sans pig: yes. We all have our roles. Some parents are awesome at playing games and keeping the activity moving. Brad is the neighborhood maker; this weekend involved air canons. Other parents, including me, are the snugglers and safety patrol. We take the criers and make sure no one runs into the kickball game with hot dog in their mouths. It doesn't matter whose kid is whose. The bigs now know to watch out for the littles, and the littles can't wait to be bigs. It's a kind of magic.

By 10, the pig was finished:

Brad had procured barbecue gloves and bear claws for shredding. The guys began the work of shredding while the rest of us watched and tasted. There was so much laughter. Brad's shirt is forever ruined, but it was totally worth it.

Sunday lunch was a masterpiece: 
We all ate too much and started planning the next pickin'. And the rain came just as promised, which was the highlight for children:
 This is what they will remember. At least I hope. I hope they remember growing up in this big, extended, wonky family of our street. I hope they remember that there is a group of adults that love them as their own. I hope they remember the laughter and to get out of the road when someone yells, "CAR!" I hope they remember hugging friends who cried when they saw the pig, and I hope they remember she ate it the next day anyway. I know I will.

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