One of my girlfriends was asking why my blog is called "Party of 3' but the URL is www.itsjustapie.blogspot.com. Well, when I was deciding to start writing a blog, I was trying to decide between the two names, and came to the conclusion that "Party of 3" described my life with my girls more accurately. "But where did 'it's just a pie' come from?", she asked.
It comes from a story about Leah, and how she loves to surprise people, and how she always wants the best things to happen to the people she loves. And she loves a lot of people.
My friend Shell and her husband had to travel out of town, and their two daughters, Maggie and Becca were staying with me. Now, Bec is 16 and Mags had turned 19 the day before, so they didn't need babysitting per se -- what they needed was a chauffer to drive them to and from work and social engagements. Also, Mags had spent Thursday, her 19th birthday, getting her wisdom teeth taken out. And therefore she hadn't had a special dinner, or a cake, or the rite of passage for every Ontario nineteen-year-old: going out drinking legally for the first time. Instead, swollen-cheeked like a chipmunk, she was ensconced on my couch with an ice pack and a Vogue magazine.
On Saturday, Becca was at work, and I took the girls with me grocery shopping to give Maggie some quiet time. While I was pushing the cart around the store, Leah was unusually quiet. "What's up?", I asked. "I was just thinking, Maggie didn't have a cake for her birthday. Can we buy her one and surprise her?", she said. I thought that was a great idea and we went to the bakery section where Leah picked out a cake covered in bright red icing roses and we had 'Happy Birthday, Maggie' written on it.
Pulling into the driveway, we were discussing the best way to get the rather distinctive looking cake box into the house without Maggie seeing it. Leah thought for a minute and said, "what if you held it behind your back and then I could walk right behind you and help you carry it and no one would know." I pictured it for a moment, but knew it would end badly, so I said, "Let's just get it inside without saying anything and hope she doesn't see it." This plan was pretty well ruined when Maggie came out the front door to help bring the groceries in. I saved the box til last, and brought it in and put it on the counter behind the bags of groceries. I knew Mags had seen it and was smiling.
Then Leah had a stroke of genius. She decided that misdirection was the answer. Pushing the grocery bags aside, she pointed to the box and said, "Maggie, see this box? Don't worry! It's just a pie. Just a pie." The earnest expression on her face and the dismissive hand gestures just cracked Mags and I up. We managed to hold the laughter in until Leah ran off to her room, but then laughed so hard that "don't worry, it's just a pie" has entered the lexicon of in-jokes that our families share. And to this day, Leah loves to tell the story of how she fooled Maggie and surprised her with a birthday cake.