Tuesday, we decided to take the kids hiking (Mike's had the week off). We found a three mile hike about 40 minutes away that claimed to be kid friendly and lead to a couple of waterfalls. So we packed up our stuff and headed out. Little Man and Kiwi did not want to go and were whiny and fighting with each other on the way up which made for a bit of a long car ride. Once we got on the trail, however, everybody was in a much better mood. I love to be outside and envision many family hikes in our future, so hopefully they will start to enjoy it now.
Mason was great in his baby backpack and both Little Man and Kiwi did awesome. Little Man kept running ahead practicing his cross country running skills and Kiwi hiked the ENTIRE thing (minus the two minutes I carried her after she tripped and hurt her knee). We were so proud of her. Near the end, she started to get pretty tired and the boys pulled ahead of us while I stayed back with her. I knew we were within a fourth of a mile or so of finishing and I really wanted her to have the satisfaction of accomplishing it on her own. I kept her distracted by looking at some of the different plants and flowers around us and kept telling her I knew she could do it. When the trees cleared and we saw the parking lot, we decided to run to the end. The look of accomplishment on her little rosy cheeked face as she sat on a rock and slurped down her water was priceless.
After the hike, we stopped at some outlet stores and then went and picked up pizza for my sister-in-law and family because my sweet little niece Lila joined our family last Sunday. The plan was to get ourselves some pizza also and then bring it home to eat. Instead we decided to have an impromptu picnic. We bummed some paper plates and forks from our brother in law when we dropped off their dinner and then headed to a nearby park. I didn't have any of the usual picnic supplies that I would pack; no napkins, blanket, bib for Mason and the only food we had was pizza. There was no fruit or veggies or salad like we would usually have to try and "balance" out our pizza meal.
And it was fun. My kids were messy, they did not eat a balanced meal, but it was okay. I was okay. Now most of the time I think my family benefits from my over planning when it comes to going places with kids. Meltdowns are often avoided by water bottles, snacks, or a baby toy that appears,from the big backpack, faces are always protected from the sun by a sunscreen stick or a baby hat and hands are cleaned by sanitizer. But sometimes it's okay to just let it go.
Mason was up past his bedtime and running on no afternoon nap, but I let that go also. The kids were having fun running around with their pizza stained faces and playing dessert shop, Mason was having fun emptying the cups of "ice cream" (sawdust) at their dessert shop and Mike and I were enjoying watching them and ordering items from their "menu." There was a soccer game going on the field next to the playground, people were out walking and running, and it was just one of those "life is so good" moments.
And although I'm not planning on throwing in my planned, big huge backpack packed of kids stuff ways anytime soon, I am learning lately that sometimes it's okay to not have it all together. Because the truth is it's impossible to have it all together and if I spend too much time worrying about always having everything just so then I miss the best part of being with my family which has way less to do with having it all together and has everything to do with just being...together.
My little hikers and me. Unfortunately the battery of the camera died when I tried to get a picture of Mike and Mason.