Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spontaneous Combustion

So, here was my quick response when asked how our train ride went.

"It's never heaven like you envision... It was a poor choice, yet unavoidable, to have three different head phones for our dvd player. Their was much turmoil over the head phones. The two guys behind me started off drunk and continued drinking all the way to Seattle... Snacks were our Savior, at times. We did take a trip to the "bar", as the kids demanded to call it, and got a couple things to share. That was fun. In Seattle we moved to the seats that face each other. And the last bit from Mt Vernon to Bellingham was a free for all among the children left on the train. They came out of the woodworks and were climbing and hiding and playing with each other and no one cared. I am so glad we did it but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to take a trip by myself or, at least, not with my children, no offense."

The Cheryl's response:
"I am continually amazed at your ability to take new adventures (that seem extremely stressful to me)that may not end up as planned. You make me laugh so much! You never let the stress of your children keep you from always "trying" to have fun. They will thank you someday for how fun you are."

You have a valid point. Fun walks aren't actually so much fun because someone's always collapsing... Trips to the zoo or a museum, there's always a child who's legs are seemingly incapable of going any further, not to mention, they forget that it's fun to be cheerful... Then there's snow! Who takes there kids to the snow with no tears? Do you wait til they're not wimps anymore? I mean, I have not taken my kids on a snow trip until this last January. 3, 5, and 7 years old and everyone still cried! I still haven't made it to the Rose Parade with children. I may be fun but, I assure you, I'm not crazy!

Let's be honest though. If Ben had ever been willing to go to the Rose Parade, I would have gone!:)

When is it in life that you choose to do the memorable things with your kids? I mean, for their sake, no sense in taking a 2 yr old to Disneyland! That's a waste.

My question is, Can you have a memorable time with your family ( a happy one, I mean) when it seems utter chaos and agony? Like, in your children's minds? Are my childhood memories unrealistic because they are not through the eyes of my parents who actually witnessed the real story? I just figure, all I have is now, so let's do it well. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
And, if it makes people feel any better, I don't get out projects to do with my children. I prefer the big shabang, not a phenomenal every day life. I have to set myself up, you know? I can't be "Fantasto Mom" all the time! See, good ol' aunt Tara got the kids cute little dishes with special foods to prepare in them and did I do that stuff with my kids? Nah. I wanted to. But Fantasto Mom doesn't come out all the time. No she doesn't.

Do you guys have good family memories to share? Were you 8 yrs old or 15? 'Cause if you were 15 , that is completely off this topic!


Kaydub said...

As the four of you pulled away from the Vancouver station I watched Aiden pull out a baggie of melted chocolate donuts. I grabbed my cell phone to call you to say, "The'll taste the same! Just eat 'em." It was such a shock when Ben answered! (Oops! Wrong number!) We had a nice little visit.

I'm remembering three children bumping down the Truckee River in Yosemite. All three of you screaming bloody murder as if I were forcing you to drown kittens or eat insects. Yet ... here we are twenty years later retelling that same ol' story! Sometimes the memories are pleasant and sometimes the memories are unbearable, but they're all memories and they all go together to create a beautiful collage that will not only bless your kids but theirs too.
Keep it up, Fantasto Mom!

Incredidad, inventor of blue milk and ironed toast

Chezam said...

One of my favorite childhood memories is my mom waking me up "in the middle of the night" (she says it was more like 10:00pm). She got me up to go outside and look at the stars together. I was about five years old and remember my mom holding me in her arms on that warm summer night in our back yard watching shooting stars. It must have been a meteor shower she knew about that night. She told me it was just something special between me and her... of course she did the same thing with my brother, but told him not to tell me either. :)

I can't wait to do this with Ella this summer when there's a good August meteor shower. She isn't five, but I think she's old enough to remember it.

I love the small stuff. I am a mother of small things. Reading books on the couch--I consider this to be my greatest achievement as a mother most days. I triumph in the small stuff... but the big things are great too--and you do those SO WELL Jen. :)

Great post.

Jen said...

I realized the main reason why I don't do lots of projects. Clutter. If you make something, it's special. I don't want "special things" everywhere. All over the walls, on shelves, counters, floors, toy drawers... It's hard enough for me to keep on top of my house work let alone having to deal with extra stuff in my way.

I guess I need to re prioritize! What's more important? The life and creativity of my precious children or clean walls and drawers? I've got an idea...

I'll let you know ow it turns out.

TNHaus5 said...

My walls are so full or my children's artwork you would think that it is wallpaper. :) I love it but it does start to feel like clutter, but they are sooooo proud that I have it displayed. I love the big memories too, but I also love the everday ones, I don't think I could choose which I prefer. I want them to remember we baked cookies together, we had pajama day, or movie night or game night etc. BUT, I also want them to remember the big fun family vacations. I WANT IT ALL>>>>> :)
I just hope they remember how much I love and adore them and how enriched my life has been because of them.
Your train trip sounds fun but exhausting, what are your kids view of it right now?

Lori Ann said...

We have done the disney trip with a two, 4 and 15 year old. The memories are kept alive in the pictures and the retelling of the fun things we did. And the anticipation of getting to go again. Caleb(3) still talks about seeing the park through his eyes etc...Nathan and I took a cross country train when he was 7. I swore I wouldn;t do it again, but I know I will take the boys.
I agree with Chelan, the small things are what they remember and carry on into adulthood.
Keep up the fun adventures!

Midge said...

my parents used to take my brothers and me on horrible hikes. horrible, long, boring, long, hikes. We went to Mt. St. Helens all. the. time. Hated it. I think I prolly was about Emma's age.

hated them.
whined, cried, horrible. But we always went.
now I'm pist that MSH is, basically, The Pope and I can't go anywhere near it.
Now that they're not around, I want to do all that boring lame stuff that we used to do.

i'm going to go call my mom.

Jen said...

Man, I'm remembering some horrible christmas tree hunting times. Freezing, crying because there was some huge stick jammed up one of my pant legs... Good times.