Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Parks, Pottery and Patience

Well, we were well enough to go to our Life Learner event. I asked A this morning how she felt and if she was up to going and she insisted she was. After I got out of the shower, E was saying she did not want to go to the park, so I reminded her that M was going to be there. Her whole face lit up and she quickly changed her tune. Mind you, M is a nine year old girl and she enjoys E as much as E enjoys her. I love how the kids just don't think of age when choosing friends.

Our plan was to meet at a park near to where the pottery place was and play for a few hours and then head over to the pottery place to paint. Five families joined us at the park and we had a lovely time. It was a bit windy, but the wind was warm and it did not get too intense until it was time to go. The kids put on a couple shows for us, one of which we could not hear due to the wind and one which included pigeons and vampires. They collected pinecones and watched someone flying a kite. I should have thrown our kites in the van. Oh well, we will be ready next time!

As the time approached to head to the pottery place, the kids were less and less interested in playing and more and more interested in exactly how much time was left before we could go. I guess they were excited. One family could not join us because the kids had a yoga class and another family had to get home to get the car to the dad who works nightshift. This second family has a 12 year old daughter who really wanted to paint pottery, so I offered to take her with us and bring her home afterward. She and A are really good friends and the two of them were very excited to be going together. When the group of us got to the pottery place, we saw that it was closed on Tuesdays. Doh! I really should have checked into that before planning to do this. Lesson learned. So, quick thinkers that we are, we called another paint your own place and found out they were open and ready for us. Luckily it was just a few miles down the road!

The kids all picked out their pieces of pottery and painted away. A and E both picked little penguins. It was a good thing we went to the park first, because it took very little time to finish painting. The littlest kids were eager to do more and when painting second and third coats did not satisfy them, outside to run around the sidewalk they went. There were three of us familes left by this point and the kids were hungry, so we made the plan to eat together at this diner-type place which was right in the same shopping center as the pottery place. We payed and walked over to the diner.

The kids were just happy to be together a while longer and us moms were glad to have a few more moments to chat. Although we did not get much time to talk as we'd hoped. Eight kids, all under the age of 7, except for one 12 year old, in a booth at a diner does not make for a very peaceful dinner. It was chaotic, but memorable! There was one older couple sitting a few booths away from us who I caught looking our way a few times. I hoped they were not being disturbed too much during their dinner. As I was paying at the register, the gentleman was behind me and he commented very sweetly about the kids all looking like they had fun. And how us moms looked worn out! It was nice to get a comment like that, instead of the critical remark I was hoping to avoid. Kids are loud, and you cannot control them like our society thinks you should, so it was nice to have that acknowledged. I was proud of all us moms for how calmly and patiently we handled the chaos. We could have ruined the good time with one frustrated comment, but we held it together. As it was our kids will likely remember this wonderful night for a long time to come!

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