Wednesday, July 9, 2014
fireworks, waterfalls, and memoirs of a cat named Duck
Don’t ya just love a long weekend?
I do. Especially when Saul has time off from work and we have nothing but fun things planned. No chores. No school. Just fun.
Or so I thought.
I know. Really naïve of me, right? In my mind and my wild daydreaming, the ideas seemed like the perfect recipe for family bonding and memory making. You know the kind: the kids are so surprised and appreciative for all your hard work and planning that they behave with kindness towards each other and maintain positive attitudes the whole time. They are practically oozing gratitude out of their pores...
Well, that didn’t happen. I guess we’ll settle for memories made and call it good.
The older three spent Thursday writing up silly stories and comic strips inspired by Nate’s idea to document the life and happenings of a cat named Duck. It’s actually pretty funny albeit a slight bit sarcastic. Gulp. I guess I need to be more careful how I model my words around these kids…
The kids earned free lunch at Chick-fil-A through the summer reading program. We love us some Chick-fil-A!
I signed the kids up for Kids Bowl Free this summer, so we took them on Friday for a couple of games.
It became apparent pretty quickly that Nate was struggling to keep his emotions in check. I think he expected that he would have an instantaneous natural ability to be an awesome bowler, and he was in a foul mood about his low score of 43. He absolutely refused to play the second game declaring that bowling was way too boring for him, and he spent the rest of the time pouting on the bench behind us.
It wasn’t too long after that Isaac started crying for throwing several gutter balls in a row. Crying? Really? And then Elaina joined her brothers with a bad attitude because she wanted to be the official bowling ball girl and hand the ball off to the next kid, an idea none of her siblings much liked.
Olivia was a hoot to watch though, and actually bowled a 100 on her second game!
We went home for supper and ice cream before heading out to watch Fireworks. This was when we discovered Nate had a black eye, apparently from meeting up with Isaac’s knee on the trampoline. One of these days, the boys are going to figure out that jumping on the trampoline is not actually a contact sport, but I’m not too hopeful that will be anytime soon. A black eye certainly wasn’t deterrent enough. If anything, just fueled that crazy rationale that boys have about battle scars being cool.
At dusk we headed north to the Air Force Academy to watch their show and waited and waited and waited. No fireworks.
A quick Google search confirmed that the Air Force was NOT actually hosting any fireworks this year. Perfect. So we headed downtown to see if we would make it in time. Which was pretty unlikely since it was full dark by then.
Cue four sad kids.
We did make it though. And even found a place to park before they started. Phew!
The next day was supposed to be hot. Perfect for a mountain hike and picnic right?
We drove to Helen Hunt Falls with the intentions of hiking around and wearing out the kids a bit. It was beautiful, even through all the whining about how hot it was, how hungry they were, and how boring it was...
And just minutes after reading the sign clearly stating the rules about staying on the path and away from the water, my kids were caught by the ranger who yelled across the bridge to get out of the water now! One look back and sure enough, I see the older three trying to cross over the fast flowing, not to mention very steep waterfall!
Seriously. We can’t take you guys anywhere.
So we all sat and listened to the park ranger tell us stories about little kids falling into the rapids and falling down the waterfall. Not a very fun prospect or outcome. Thank you for that eye opening, disturbing, and visual lesson dear Park Ranger.
Clearly we weren’t going to be able to do any hiking around if the kids were going to blatantly disobey safety rules. So we left and found a different place to picnic.
A nice shady spot to enjoy our food, which the kids devoured like they hadn’t eaten in three days. I really do not know how they get so hungry. After the cooler had been cleared of anything edible, the kids ran off to play at the playground and left Saul and I to chill.
And watch the family across from us having a very idyllic picnic, equipped with scrumptious food and organized games. No doubt some fried chicken and chocolate cake in her beautiful picnic basket. The super-mom in charge had planned a water balloon toss, kite flying, and a game of kick ball. They were all having a great time, enjoying each others company and being polite. I could just drool over the prospect of my kids being that engaged and happy to be doing something fun together.
The longer I watched them, the more hostile I started to feel toward this super-mom. I felt like a super-lazy mom. After all, I had only packed PB&J and then sent my kids off to the playground.
Now, I know it’s wrong to compare yourself. And it certainly wasn’t doing me any good to do it. But when we got in the car to leave, my little Olivia told me, “Thank you Mom! I want to do that again and again!” and that was enough to change my attitude.
Sometimes, PB&J and a playground are enough.
Sunday was a bit of a recovery day. It was too hot to do much other than veg in front of the tele. Now we are back to our regularly scheduled week of school and chores and just enough fun to keep up the illusion that summer break is fun.