I was at a conference in Florida last year and just had to grab a picture of this “opportunity” when we walked past it in the middle of a small mall. I mean, really, who would want to get into a “hurricane simulator”? I feel like my life is a hurricane half the time (or possibly much more than half the time). I think I’m in current need of a “boredom simulator” or at least a “sleep simulator.”
Fortunately, this week was a bit of a slow-down compared to the past month. With my brother giving the example of taking off work on each of his (Eight!) children’s birthdays (and spending the day as a family), I began years ago with my boys to spend their birthday with them. Micah calls it “my I can do whatever I want day” and I keep correcting him that “Mommy still has veto power.”
So Monday was Noah’s day and I can’t even begin to describe how nice it is to be attending to just one boy at a time. And it was beautiful to not have to rush to get anywhere but to follow his lead. No real agenda – other than me getting coffee, of course. Since he wanted coffee cake from Panera, we went there….and even sat down to eat. He thought that was “awesome.”
His chosen “event” for the day was to go ice-skating and he was giddy with excitement. I almost blew any chance of having a future Olympic skater, though. At first, he was given hockey skates that were too “slippy” for him and he couldn’t move a foot. Then he fell and bloodied his nose – and I had no tissue or anything with me on the ice….and resorted to the inner lining of his coat (I should probably wash that thing!). By this point, I’m berating myself for not being better prepared as a parent and having a helmet on his head, when he yells his foot is hurting because he had on two “right foot” skates. Sigh – eventually we got sorted out and had a nice time. I even woke him up on the way home to make him eat ice cream…teeth-chattering in 40 degree temps, face smeared with “Chocoholic chocolate chunk” and hands beyond the worst definition of sticky! Good mommy.
Though the main part of the day seemed to flow well, I just felt like I was doing a lousy job. Kathy and I always have helium balloons (one for every kid) in the living room on a birthday….and I awoke in bed that morning in panic realizing I had forgotten this (contemplating the lifelong trauma I was inflicting on him – “it all started when my mom forgot my birthday balloons….”). I also completely forgot to make a cake for the actual birthday, despite making two for his party two days before (“…and then no cake – no candles – no singing!!”). And I completely exploded at Micah at the dining room table and dragged him upstairs for a break from his incessant pestering and acting up. So in my nice little world of “perfect mothering” (of which I never attain), I was falling fast from my little pedestal. I was failing on one of the most important days of Noah’s year. And yet, he lay in bed that night and said “this is the bestest birthday ever, right?” I smiled and said “that’s right.” So who’s the better judge? And why can’t they stay forever four – when the “bestest day ever” is easy and uncomplicated?
And who volunteers to remind me that no matter how many mistakes I make in a day – sometimes, it’s still the “bestest ever”?