When you realize you’ve worked hard at schoolwork with all the kids all week, haven’t left the house since Monday, and it’s rained every day of the week, you pack up the camera (realizing blog posting has fallen by the wayside) and decide supper can be an hour late, it’ll be fine. You head out on foot, six kids in tow, to the nearest walking trail.
You’re tired, sore, nauseous, and that headache that’s been present all week is threatening to come back.
You walk up and down the quarter mile of grassy hills to get to the path, stumbling along the rocks that stop up the stroller. The baby thinks it’s funny.
You finally get to the path and take one look at the massive hill you’re about to descend and cringe. Coming back up that thing pushing the stroller isn’t going to be easy.
You get to the bottom of the path, sit down on the park bench, and enjoy watching the kids enjoying the river. About then is when the realization hits: You left the camera packed up and sitting in the living room. Perfect.
About ten seconds later, the first mosquito strikes. You swat, trying to grin and bear it. After all, while you’re being miserable, they are making memories. The last thing you want is one of those memories to be of crabby momma and how she ruined the trip.
After an appropriate amount of time passes and you’re thinking it’s time to head home, you realize that the walk home is just as long, but will take longer because you’re tired, and your 9-week pregnant bladder is already protesting. Again.
The 8.5 pound dog decides to run, taking the two year old with her. Wipeout on gravel. You pray there won’t be blood, because carrying the dear girl home might just put the whole trip in the “worst walk ever” category. No blood.
You head back over the bridge and through the woods to the bottom of that horrible hill. Your ten year old offers to push the stroller. You take her up on it, uncertain you’re going to make it up all on your own, never mind pushing the stroller.
About half way up the hill another family is coming down. The teenage boy wears one of those “survival” necklaces. The two year old can’t help her self. She talks in a louder voice than she’s used for 99% of her speech for her whole life. The girl can’t talk loudly to save her life. But she can talk loudly to embarrass Momma.
“Momma! That boy was wearing a necklace!”
You cringe and agree. Not much to say there. They were most definitely in earshot. After all, you’re barely getting up the hill at this point.
“Boys can NOT wear necklaces! Boys are NOT PRETTY in NECKLACES!”
You wonder if she’d understand the “Just because your daddy does, because your brothers don’t, doesn’t make it wrong” explanation. You decide you don’t have enough air to get it out, so the answer is no. You wonder if everyone’s children take such enjoyment in embarrassing their parents, or if it’s just yours.
The six year old has to pipe up now.
“That was NOT APPROPRIATE for her to say that while they could still hear her!”
True enough, but you’re pretty sure they heard the dear boy, too. Thank you for that. Agreed. Inappropriate. Moving on.
You head back across the grassy hills toward home. Just a quarter mile left. You can do this.
Baby’s making kissy faces. Go to kiss him, and he sticks out his tongue. Turns out, you’re not too tired to laugh.
Home. Sweet home. Time to make supper. Craving fried rice. Found a recipe online, made it, grilled some chicken. Yum. You opt for supper at the picnic table. Rice makes one nasty mess on the floor. Cleanup is infinitely easier outside.
Bonus: The kids go to sleep faster than normal by a long shot. Turns out, they were tired too.
Ice cream. Coffee ice cream. Done for another day. Exhausted. But done.