Thursday, June 28, 2012
Tuesday night I tucked the girls into bed telling them that I had something fun planned for us the next day. I didn't tell them what but just let them absorb the idea of the surprise. I was quite giddy myself over this day I had planned, I am normally not adventurous enough to try to go new places on my own. (Kevin does all the driving and navigation to new places and I just sit and knit on the ride. I could probably get lost in my own neighborhood. Not kidding.) It was our first 'outing' of the summer too so there was much excitement in the air.
I made a promise to myself that night that I would give myself to my children 100% on our adventure and not let time, responsibilities or anything else enter my thoughts and distract me. I prayed that night that I would really be able to pull it off.
I went to bed early so that I would be well rested and ready to take on the day. In my perfect world that would have happened but despite my early bedtime I barely got an ounce of sleep. Baby L was up all night and nothing seemed to make him happy*. When I woke up the next morning I was not feeling my best, for sure. I got up and opened the door. The girls were already awake and greeted me with happy faces. I gave them hugs and then mumbled something about getting coffee to them. I head K say to C "I wonder why we are all so cranky when we first wake up in the morning" as I walked past. Oops. Not the start of the day I had planned. I didn't let myself dwell on it though, like I normally would (one thing going wrong can actually throw off the whole day for me, if I don't keep my emotions in check). I got coffee in my system and moved on much, much happier.
After our shaky beginning, our day was going really smoothly. We stopped at Panera for lunch (thanks to Nana!) and had the sweetest conversations while we ate outside enjoying the warm(er) air. There was no quarreling or bickering - just giggles and hugs. It felt like perfection. Why oh why couldn't it always be this way? I realize that is not reality and we need struggles to grow, but oh my did I enjoy that moment. After our lunch I took them to the historic Belmont Firehouse. All three of my children love to look at firetrucks and this place had all of Portland's firefighting history all the way back to when the pioneers came here. Also, my girls have a fear of fire alarms so I was hoping if they saw why we need them it would help to ease their minds. The museum was small but great. Baby L was very patient with us as he stayed on my back the whole time. K literally had me read and show her everything in there and listened with great detail over every bit. I have never seen her like this before so I went with it (of course I edited out anything that may have been a bit too much for her little ears to hear). She seemed so very interested to learn everything she could there. In my mind, the visit really could not have gone any better. We left as they closed and went home, me on a high of sorts over how great of a day we had and C and K playing firefighters all the way.
But then that evening it all changed. After I tucked the girls in bed they came downstairs crying saying how they were really scared. I asked them what they were scared of and they responded that riding the firetruck simulator scared them because they thought they were really moving. I gave them lots of love and talked to them about it and then it seemed like things were ok. But then they were upset again saying they wish I never took them to the firehouse and that they are too afraid to go to sleep now. They asked me to get rid of the fire helmets we brought home because they would remind them of how scary it all was. This really confused me as we all seemed to have such a great time. There was never any indication that it was too much for them. I started to let my pride get in the way instead of listening to their hearts. I became almost offended in a way that they were scared that night. I planned all of this for us, we had such a good day...how did all of this backfire? Trying to help calm their fears (that I created!) I offered to bring Nara up to sleep with them. They liked that idea and as I brought her up Kevin came home. I felt awful for causing my little ones so much distress and was so happy to see him. We talked with the girls together and he did more talking with them, as well. After a few hours they were able to go to sleep and it seemed like maybe I didn't scar them for life. (God, I hope not!) Kevin and I sat and talked about it afterwards to try to get a better understanding of it all.
When they woke up this morning it was as if the night before never happened. I forgot to dispose of their fire helmets but they spent the day happily playing (and squabbling) with them, so I guess it was a good thing I forgot. I still feel really badly but most of all that could just get so caught up I let my pride get in the way. This day reminded me that I am always a student and my children are my greatest teachers.
* p.s. Today I discovered why Baby L was up all that night - He was preparing for more first steps! As I was putting him on the ground this afternoon he held his legs straight out, landed on his feet and literally took off down the hall!
p.p.s I hope this post made sense. I realize I am too tired typing this up and that I don't think I am articulating what I am trying to get across here.
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