Waiting For That Smile!

MY VIEWS | | September 27, 2010 at 10:44 am

There was a time when I would be paranoid to put both kids to bed, on my own. I remember the first time I did it my best friend (thank you Kamesh) rallied to the rescue with her mom who was visiting from South Africa (yeah, my friends rock). Needless to say I was a panic mess. These days I do it easily, but honestly I think hubby does it way better and truthfully more often (thank you honey). So then I got a little brave, make that a lot brave, and I suggested we take a friend’s kids to the Davis Farm we were heading to. I find it hard to admit that I was not nervous at all. Maybe it was just the fact that the weeks are so jam-packed I barely have time to mull over things or maybe I was getting too confident in my parenting skills.

There were 2 boys, already I should have been out of depth only having dealt with 2 girls, but my wonderful husband was there so I figured he could deal with bathroom or changing issues. The plan was simple: Apple picking, farm visit, pony ride, lunch and then a sprinkler park. Now tell me that does not sound an awesome way to spend the day? One kid had just turned 5 (in fact we were going to attend his party that very same night – I told you I had a crazy schedule) and the other around 11. Yes, 11 – that alone should have sent the warning sirens going, what the heck did I know about tweens? I was either in denial or I believed a culmination of big-sister training I had obtained, or maybe  hubby and me chaperoning high-risk kids on dance nights (and yes I was the mama to tell them if they were dancing too close) – but we thought nothing of it.

As we said goodbye I could already see the aloofness on the older kid, while the younger one bounced away happily. I panicked – was I going to let this kid have an awful day. I kept asking if he was excited – so yeah I am a helicopter hovering mom. In fact even if he was having a good day, with all my persistent asking I would not blame him one iota if he got a tad irritated. He never complained while we scampered around the farm, he never smiled either. My husband and I looked at each other both thinking of what to do. I was by now a bit miserable inside, rushing all the younger kids from activity to activity, hoping the next one would hold some joy.

The farm was maybe aimed at an age much younger and could be why he kept wandering off – trying to seek some thrill. Not knowing whether to give him space or reign him closer to the rest of the herd, we decided to err on the side of safety. We knew his folks did not allow the kids with other people and it was with much trepidation they agreed to us. We decided a boring day trumps a son getting lost, right? We had almost given up, if the wonderful warm weather could not make his face shine, who were we kidding that we could. Munching on lunch we were anxious to get the day done with.

But we promised the kids the sprinkler park and we knew that beautiful days such as this was rare in fall, especially for Boston so we committed to making true to our promise. The day was perfect and probably to other parents they may not have even noticed the subtle nuances – but being very hands-on parents we did (did I mention how I love that my husband gets involved with his kids?) and it bugged us crazily. As the sprays of water delighted children all over, and laughter filled the air, a small smile broke through. Then there was no longer containing it any longer. As buckets of water poured over him, and laughter spread to his face, relief and content filled through ours. A perfect day, I tell you!

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