Saturday, April 24, 2010
So the other day I was in a friend's house and saw a plaque in her living room that read, "Remember: Everyone Else Thinks We Are a Nice Normal Family". I love this. Typically, I see plaques in peoples homes reading, "Return with Honor" or "Remember Who You Are" but to me just having your teenagers live up to the perception of being in a "nice and normal family" is about all you can ask for some days. LOL I certainly know that others do not view my family as "normal." I am a bit in denial about this most days. I feel like we have a very similar life to those around us. My kids are picky eaters- who isn't, my kids have schedules of therapies and sports- again, like most just with different activities, my kids watch TV and play outside and really enjoy life- like most families. So, every now and then when I am faced with a different reality it surprises me. (You feel a story coming don't you?)
Last night, with my husband out of town, I took my babysitter and 3 children to a church picnic at a park. I have never been to this particular park so I didn't know what to expect. I did know that there was a pond which is a HUGE reason I took my sitter. Off subject, why is there a law to have a pool fence in your yard and yet the city builds all our parks with unfenced lakes?! I don't get this! OK, back to the story. So, we park and make it onto the grass just in time for Max to throw his first fit. He wanted to go his own way and not hold my hand. He's three. SOOOO three. Off we go to find a spot to play.
I am scanning the park for the playground only to be sadly disappointed. 4 swings and some rocks to climb. 150 kids and 4 swings. I knew then that we could not go near them. If my kids do manage to get on the swings, they are not getting off in 2 minutes for someone else's turn. At least not happily. And I like happily. So, we settle in the volleyball court sand. Thank you to the mom that brought sand toys and let my kids play with them!!! I had already fed the kids because I knew they wouldn't eat with so much going on. (See, I'm not a Spring Chicken.)
Anyway, as I am sitting there looking around at families eating and children running around playing I start thinking if this would be possible for me. Could I sit and talk to other women from the church and let my kids run around the pond? The enormous park? To the 4 swings which are out of sight from the armada? To the bathroom by themselves? NO. I could not. But others could. There were little kids, 2-3 year old kids running and I mean running around the pond. This would give me a heart attack. If I let my kids run wild, I can pretty much count on the fact that within 15 minutes one would be in the pond, another in the parking lot and another crying from falling off of something. So there we sat in our contained little space and when all three children had their hair full (and I mean full) of sand, we left. (This would create tantrum #2.) I am not complaining. I love my life. Like I said, sometimes I just forget that it is different than most. I believe I get many blessings through opportunities that others do not get. Perhaps I miss out on experiences that they get but that's what life is about. Learning and becoming stronger people through the different experiences we have. I wouldn't trade. I really, truly wouldn't.