Josh had a work-related thing he had to go to today, so it was just me and the kids. As it was supposed to be a nice day today (after what seemed like 40 days and 40 nights of rain), I decided that we should all get out of the house and go for a walk on the beach.
The children all leapt for joy and said “Oh Mother! That sounds divine!” and scurried into the car with a skip in their step and songs in their hearts…
Yeah, that didn’t happen.
There was Maura, screaming at me because I had to take off her boots in order to change her diaper. Teenage boys going “Do I have to go?” and “Groan.” and “Ugh.” The dog was running amok because she saw the leash come out. Then it turned into a “But it’s just going to rain on us.”
Finally I said “LISTEN! WE’RE GOING TO THE BEACH AND WE’RE GOING TO HAVE FUN DAMMIT!”
(FYI, times like these, Josh and I refer to as “Family Fun Dammit” – aka, we’re going to give it our best shot, whether you like it or not.)
Eventually, everyone got into the car – groaning teen boys, hyper dog, girls in pink skirts. We drove to the beach, which is about a ten minute ride, so of course Sean napped on the way. He inherited his father’s superpower of being able to go to sleep instantly anywhere. I hate them both for that.
But then, we got to the beach. I sent the boys with the dog and a plastic baggie to go walking while the girls started playing. Earlier this week, Josh and I took the dog to the beach only to find it with high waves and a higher than norm tide. Today, we were greeted with actual stretches of sand. The girls were in heaven. The boys…well, they were a bit bored, but they were out there, not complaining.
And for a few minutes, I had peace.
Of course, eventually, we all piled back into the van, luring Maura away with the word “ice cream”. There was a few ugly moments in a parking lot, as Maura screamed because she wasn’t getting out of the car while Collin ran in to get ice cream and I frantically looked for the twenty euro bill I knew I had just had (it was in my wallet…yeah…)…and then there was the realization I forgot to have him get bread and a quick stop at the Spar (think big convenience store only nicer), a chat with the teenager behind the counter joking about how quickly the loaf would disappear, and an impromptu trip to the fruit and veg market next door, housed in an old stone church, to buy flowers with Maura – who had announced “I’m FEEE!” as she unbuckled herself. Then finally home again, where ice cream was devoured, and children and dog now sprawled out watching tv.
But for a moment, I had peace – as girls played in sand and boys walked the dog along the shore. Peace and sunlight.