Today was the last day of spring break. Though we didn’t really go anywhere out of the ordinary this past week, the notion of “last” still roused the same scarcity sensors that initiate swiping the last brownie and ordering a drink for last call. Lap It Up Before It’s Gone seemed to whisper everywhere this morning, even though I’m smart enough to realize we can create these days whenever we want, and “before it’s gone” is an entirely overdramatic phrase regarding doing fun stuff with the kids on the last day of spring break. Nevertheless (how awesome is that word?—I mean, it’s three words in one.), Mercury’s not in retrograde until June which means life’s dramatic flair might need some kindling. So I’m going to go full throttle Suck the Marrow on this one: Spring Break, Spring Break, wherefore art thou, Spring Break?
I dedicated the day to complete enjoyment of the kids and our surroundings and called time of death on any and all work/to-do list tasks at 9 this morning which left the entire day to carpe’-ing the diem. So we set out to do just that, planning a very rough outline that looked like Have Lunch Together, Drive Somewhere Fun. We packed a blanket in case our fun destination required sitting and a stroller in case our day extended into naps.
Lunch turned into park, park turned into beach, and beach eventually turned into pool at home.
Today was calm and redeeming–both the perfect end to spring break and the perfect beginning to a new week.
A new week sounds lovely because last week can be summed up as nothing less than “Aw, hell naw”–the low point reflected in that scene at the local bakery where I met my cousins from Michigan for what was supposed to be a nice lunch and ended up being a 20-minute trailer for that imaginary documentary, The Trenches of Parenthood. The scene ended with me asking, “Can you help me get to the car?” because I honestly couldn’t manage my kids by myself. Crying jags, flailing limbs, one who insisted on wearing a beach blanket as a cape, macaroni and cheese that one wanted but then didn’t want but then wanted again but then didn’t want, and a baby who couldn’t accept that climbing on booth tables was uncouth. We were the restaurant spectacles, and everyone knew it.
But it’s over as quick as it begins. And for every “God, I’m going to lose it today” conversations I have with my sister, there’s ten more stories that follow–Did I tell you what Nella said today? Dash just fell asleep on my chest. Lainey wrote another poem today. One’s my favorite age. Four’s my favorite age. Six’s my favorite age.
Throughout our adventures today, we happened to witness a few unfortunate mishaps–a fender bender, a minivan door that accidentally opened and spilled belongings all over a parking lot, and a girl on the beach that took a hit to the face with a volleyball. I didn’t realize Lainey was keeping track until after the volleyball incident. “Mom, we keep seeing bad things happen,” she noted. “We saw three. I wonder what the next one will be.”
My, how easy it is for all of us to give notice to the bad things–to add them up, to give them thought, to wait for them to happen and fear their arrival.
“Bad things happen every day for all of us,” I told her, “but good things happen too. Instead of waiting to see what the next bad thing will be, how about we start looking for good things that happen, or better yet–we could make something good happen.”
“Like you buy me something?” she asked.
Okay, that wasn’t what I was thinking.
Lainey tripped and fell later in the afternoon, scraping her knees and alerting our entire county of her tragedy in the process. I waited for her to make note of that fourth bad thing, but she never did. We had shells to categorize and sandy shoes to shake out, and Nella said “Elsa butt” which, according to Lainey, was the funniest thing that happened this year, ever.
Bad things happen.
Good things happen.
Some photos of the latter…