You know how the typical parenting story goes. Where the mom was really tired, overwhelmed, and stressed and just wanted some quiet time and yet her children wanted to do some spectacularly exhausting thing that can only be done that one day and then not again ever or at least for another year. So, the mom decides to give her children this experience and it’s all wonderful and in the end, her heart grows just like the Grinch’s at the end of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and she’s so glad she went against her initial gut reaction of OMG, NO! and had this precious memory with her children.
This is not that story.
After a long week of some emotionally draining extended family things going on, twists and turns with work that required more time than usual, a husband who had been out of town for 4 days and wasn’t expected home for another 2 days, I was pretty much done by the time the weekend rolled around.
A weekend we kicked off by having to get up early to get my oldest to the big end of the STRIDE/Girls on the Run season race, which means over a thousand runners, all the volunteers and supporters forming a huge crowd, which tends to suck the life out of an introvert.
And since it’s all about supporting your team, we stay to watch the last runner come in and for the awards ceremony, so it’s a few hours.
Near the end, I was dreaming of going home to put away laundry and then read a book and maybe even take a nap. You know it’s bad when you’re fantasizing about laundry.
Yet, there was a festival in town later that day. Not one that I’d planned to go to, due to everything else that was going on. Someone else offered to take my boys and though I was seriously skeptical because any of the downtown festivals are ridiculously crowded, I gave in. But only afterwards, did I learn of circumstances that would mean there was no way my kids would be well-watched, so I felt obligated to go.
I went, with my tired, bad attitude. It was crowded and cold and the lines were ridiculously long: 90 minutes for a 1 minute sled ride, for example.
My boys did have an absolute blast. Snow is a rare thing here so going to a festival where they bring in a snow-making company to do things like sled or just play in a pile of snow was such a novelty to them, they didn’t really mind the wait (other than saying they really wished we had express passes or fast passes like at Universal or Disney World).
They laughed, they played, they thought it was all pretty dang cool.
While I grumbled inwardly. Mostly inwardly. I didn’t want to ruin their time and I also didn’t want my complaints to be catching.
But I never did have that magical moment when I looked around and thought it was all worth it.
I’m glad they have that memory. And it’s pretty impossible not to smile and laugh along with these wonderful kiddos.
Or, you know what? Next time, you can even decide to stay home and that’s okay, too.