Friday, May 27, 2011

It's Just the Kind of Mom I Am

The day after Lucy's preschool graduation, her school had a picnic at a nearby park, an annual tradition for the school. I've been to five of them so far. We've been experiencing a monsoon season here in Michigan, so up until 45 minutes before the picnic started I was unsure whether it was still on. Mathilda was crabby and I was tired and it was wet outside and looked like it was about to pour, so I was kind of thinking the picnic would be canceled. In other words, I was not getting us ready like I should have been. I hadn't made lunches, no one was fully dressed or ready. Then I got the call that it was indeed still happening. Soon it became apparent that we were going to be dreadfully late for the picnic. So late, actually, that I thought we might very well end up missing the whole thing. In typical me fashion I asked Lucy, "would you like to do something else instead?" And she is such a good sport that she said, "sure mom, let's do something else!" Plus I think this was sort of my way of avoiding those depressing last good-bye's. Because that's just how I am.

We finished getting ready and making lunches and I thought we'd just head for a park closer to home. Then when we got in the car I made a spontaneous decision to go to the Detroit Zoo instead, since I have a membership which is about to expire next month and I like to get a lot of use out of those things to make them super worth the money. Never mind that I personally didn't buy it, but whatever. It started ever so slightly drizzling on the way there, and my heart sang when we pulled into the parking lot and saw people exiting the zoo in droves because large crowds really put a damper on the zoo for me.
See? No crowds!

It was really barely raining, but we stuck to the indoor exhibits anyway. The best thing about having a zoo membership is that there's no pressure to see every single thing because you just spent a million dollars in admission and parking. So I didn't care one bit that we only saw the amphibians and the reptiles. We just took our time, and ate our lunch on a bench under a tree and saw some frogs and snakes and lizards and stuff. I'm a total dork so I was thrilled when in the rain forest exhibit we saw the sloth so up close that I could have touched it. Well we saw it's foot anyway, and I wouldn't have really touched it. Even if that zoo docent hadn't been standing right by us when we saw it. Still, really cool.

Just as we were getting ready to head back to the van, it really started pouring. We were fairly well-equipped in that we had hoods, umbrellas, and the girls had rain boots. But Mathilda kicked hers off so she rode in the stroller barefoot, covered in a blanket and with an extra jacket of mine draped over the hood of the stroller to keep the rain off of her. And then we walked to the exit at Lucy pace, which is to say the pace of a 4-year old who loves being outside in the rain, stomping in puddles, twirling her Hello Kitty umbrella, and in this particular instance, belting out It's Raining Men, which I'm pretty sure she learned from that Wii game, Just Dance. (If that song is not in that game then I am at a total loss as to where she ever heard it.) It wasn't terribly cold and Lucy was so very happy, I didn't mind one bit being stuck out in the pouring rain. Well not much anyway. I may have encouraged her to put some gas in it once or twice, but jeez! I was carrying Bethany's child-sized Degas ballerina umbrella, so it wasn't exactly keeping me toasty dry. 

Luckily I'm okay with occasionally missing a school event, walking through the zoo on a rainy day, and letting my kids play in the rain, because it was a good day even though it very well could have ended up being a pretty bad day at more than one juncture. Lucy said she didn't mind missing the picnic because she can invite her friends over anytime, which is true. But my days of being able to go to the zoo on a weekday afternoon with just Lucy and Mathilda are pretty much over. Next year it will be just Mathilda and me...and that will be fun too, in its own different way.

Not exactly thrilled to be posing for pictures after about a gazillion blurry shots didn't turn out

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