Yesterday, we had one of those really magical days. Victoria and Anna had the third and final day of their Survivor day camp at a wonderful ecology center. Jack and I explored the woods around them and discovered wonderful child-built forts, meandering springs and some pretty breathtaking scenery. The air was filled with cottonwood seeds, which look like giant dandelion seeds and some folks say are fairies. We caught them and made wishes on them and blew them back to the wind.
The boys and I went to the park with Daddy while the girls had their last afternoon adventure. We played with a zipcar we picked up at a garage sale, explored a gazebo, played at the playground and split an entire box of ice cream treats to cool off. Daryl even found me a four leaf clover.
Then we headed back to pick up the girls, who had made wonderful friends and got email addresses and phone numbers. They showed us their forts and took us off into the woods for more magical adventures. There were big fluffy dogs. There were even s’mores.
Dinner was quick, simple and delicious (mushrooms and asparagus sauteed in garlic butter over rice, with asparagus we bought from a sweet gentleman selling it out of his car by the side of the road). The children went to sleep nicely.
I am not sure, but I believe there were cartoon bluebirds circling our heads at least once.
Today… was not so magical!
Today, it rained and was cold and dreary. Today, we had to clean the living room to prepare for the delivery of Daddy’s new chair. Today, the kids squabbled and screeched. Today, Alex pulled all of the long and lovely dangly bits off of my very green and pretty (and very dangly) plant and left them in a heap on the window seat.
Oh yes, and there was the migraine. Sigh.
Today, I did my best to make it till bedtime!
Daryl and the girls are in a summer play that they do every year, and that means rehearsals every weeknight in June. So tonight, my boys, myself and my migraine were on our own. It was a long end to a long day!
I tried reading books to the boys, but Alex was more in a "let’s throw everything in sight" mood (and our house has a lot in sight). I killed an hour with my old standby, the bathtub. I even dragged the playpen up from the basement, vacuumed up the crumbs and wiped down the dust, and tried putting Alex in that for a ten minute break.
He was out in less than one.
So I went with my last straw coping mechanism– a walk. I padded the soaking stroller with a dry blanket on the bottom, plopped in a newly happy toddler, covered him with another blanket, and headed out with my two (generally) favorite small boys.
We walked and we walked and we walked some more. Jack rode his scooter and chattered nonstop. I was cold and still had a migraine.
But I had to laugh despite myself when Jack tried to ride his scooter through a puddle that ended up being more of a lake. The surprised look on his face was priceless! It was even more priceless when he decided he liked it and rode through it anyway. Halfway down the street he ditched his scooter and ran back one more time to run through it since it was so much fun.
Alex was happily contained. I noticed a lovely heart-shaped creeping charlie vine crawling up the back screen door. The cat even escaped to come love on us.
No bluebirds appeared and my migraine never did go away. Jack was soaked and cold and we eventually had to go home. I plopped Jack in a bubble bath and kept Alex from setting anything on fire while I cooked dinner one-handed. And eventually, my reinforcements came home. Dinner was cooked and Alex mercifully dropped off to sleep.
Some days are magical, some aren’t. That’s the nature of parenthood. The trick of it is to find a way to just keep going on those not so magical days, and maybe catch glimpses of the magic that happens anyway.
The other trick is to keep the freezer stocked with ice cream. Or at least that’s mine.