Rich always gets a craving for Pinkberry on Sunday afternoons…..I am SO over it….but he mentions it, and since I can’t always say “no”, this past Sunday I said, “Okay, lets go but we are taking the children to see Santa Clause.” To this he had less enthusiasm but as he would do just about anything for that tasty frozen yogurt treat, he said, “You know the line is always super long for that.” and I understood it was a “yes” from my husband.
The line was a little long, but not too terribly bad. Our son David, who is now 14, absolutely refused to see Santa, because “it would ruin his dignity”, and went away to wander the mall while Rich and I took our three youngest through a process of getting a special badge, doing a few fun North Pole activities, and then finally visiting with Santa for the all important portrait. Seth was the most reluctant and shy, Sarah was the most excited. Caleb was in the middle (perfect).
There was one part of the event where the children were able to go into a little room of sorts to stand in a beautiful falling artificial snow. I, of course, right away thought to myself, “Perhaps we should avoid that part or they will get covered in it for their photo with Santa.” I thought it was very unwise of the elves to put the messy snow BEFORE Santa, why not AFTER? However, I am super proud to say, I put aside my own controlling tendencies and let them have all the fun they could possibly have. I pretended I didn’t care. Although we brushed it off them, you can see the snow in Sarah’s hair like dandruff and some flakes of it on the boys, too.
There was a dear mom behind us with her two PERFECTLY dressed girls in all their Christmas finery (velvet and hair bows, white tights and black patent leather) and they avoided the flakes of snow like it was the very plague. They stared in wonder at Sarah scooping it up and throwing it sky high, while I heard the mother whispering instructions to her prim and proper daughters to not get any of it on their dresses, and I could tell by their faces that they had no intentions of doing so. And I knew that could have been my mothering technique, as well. I understood perfectly how they all felt because I felt that way a little bit myself.
I don’t really have a point to this story except that it was a close call for Sarah, and a learning experience for me (again). Every day is a lesson on “control” for me….and slowly God is taking it gently from my hands so I can have a little fun, too.
You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Ecclesiastes 11:9
Love your very own snowflakes floating down your page. Did you know when I move my mouse, they follow along??
I used to be the mom who would’ve avoided the snow. I got teary eyed at your last photo of Sarah, absolutely unabashedly delighted by it and I think, “How many opportunities did I deprive my kiddos of years ago?” The wisdom (and sometimes guilt) that comes as an older, more seasoned mom now.
As they begin to grow up and out…why, it’s heartbreaking just how much didn’t matter…and how the things that did are so precious after all. (hugs)
I added the snowflakes last Christmas and was so happy that they once again appeared this season w/out me having to figure it out again! I hear you on the snow thing, and the photo of Sarah brought a tear to my eye as well….I think we as moms just get into this groove where we get so used to being the one in charge of the kids that sometimes we forget that life can be *handled* a little less and that we are free to enjoy the (gasp) messy parts, too. Love and hugs to you, mama! You really are a great mom, God has a wonderful way of giving us grace to redeem all the many (well-meaning) mistakes!! We will be wonderful grandmas someday, too, right?? xoxo
Way to go mom! I know your kids had way more fun than the prim and proper kids …