Today I had a practically perfect day. It began at the Magical Theater (appropriate name for a magical day!). We saw James and the Giant Peach with friends. The 285 seat theater was so intimate and cozy. I love the exposed brick and rough edges. I love sitting so close to the actors. I love feeling the thrill of live theater. It never gets old and I want to instill that passion in my kids.
After the show, we walked across the street to a mexican restaurant. The kids had so much fun sitting at the table next to us, while my friend and I visited in our booth. Afterward, we went our separate ways and the kids and I headed another hour to an apple orchard to buy gobs of apples to make into apple sauce and apple pies and apple butter. We picked and picked and picked and played with puppies and saw all their gardens and bought garlic to plant and peppers to roast and throw in the freezer. There’s something about an organic farm that seems so exciting…things done the way they used to be. Cows eating grass. Apples that taste great, but don’t look like you found them in Whole Foods. That’s the romantic way of saying that I only found one apple that I was willing to photograph close up. Organic is sometimes ugly!
Then we drove home and stopped for ice-cream, found a cute bulk store on the side of the road, and listened to a couple hours of our Percy Jackson books on CD. We topped it off with pizza in front of America’s Funniest Home videos and a slumber party for the kids, all crowded into one bedroom.
OK, that’s the highlights reel…what you would see posted on my Facebook page. So here’s the rest of the story! On the way to the play, my daughter and I got into a pretty big spat. Like, the kind where I was in tears because I was so mad and ended up having to apologize for yelling a lot. Urgh. At the restaurant, my four year old was being really naughty and had to come sit with me, which was pretty embarrassing in front of my friend with her perfectly behaved kids. When he told me “no” I was mortified! My big one got stung by a bee while apple picking. They fought over who was taking too many drinks of the pumpkin milk they were sharing. Then at bedtime I had to give them the…”if I have to come up there one more time, you will be very sad children!” speech. Sometimes I get hung up on those yucky moments and they ruin the beauty, but today I see beyond those to the magic that is mommyhood.
My husband kissed me when I got home and whispered “someday our kids will be grown and on a night like this, we’ll get on our motorcycle (that we will someday own) and drive and drive and it will be just us.” That sounds magical too. We had 8 glorious years before our kids came along, and I loved it. I loved working with my best friend and hanging out with him all the time and I would be lying if I said I don’t look forward to an empty nest with longing. But then I think back on today and wonder if we will be sitting in our living room on a Friday night after our kids are grown and raising their own families and desperately miss this.
Despite all the fights and messes, second guessing yourself as a mom and listening to others’ critiques of how you raise your kids, seeing your worst qualities passed to them and seeing all the ugliness in your heart come out as you parent them…it’s still pretty magical.