The Truth About Family Time

Some of you readers out there are first time parents. You are swaddling your sweet smelling newborn and dreaming of the fun outings and adventures you will have as a family. You will be inseparable, gazing into your spouse’s eyes with love as you hold hands with your precious little one. You’ll introduce your
children to the wonders of nature and relish the joys of watching them discover the world.

Then you go on your first family outing and all that gets thrown out the window.

Recently the kids had a couple days off from school for Easter. Not being ones to waste valuable time off, we discussed our options and decided rather than travel, we would spend our day at a nearby park, playing and hiking on the mountain.

Don’t get me wrong. It started out GREAT! Beautiful day, perfect temperature, everybody pleasant and excited.

We spent time on the seesaws, experimenting with combining our weight as teams to see if we could balance it out (seesaws were NOT on the top of my list as a child…you can figure that one out). We hiked down to a little waterfall (which was fairly stressful for this mama as I watched my girls walk around on very slippery rocks), we enjoyed

a little snack…it was a wonderful morning! This is a family day for the books, I thought. We are such good parents.

And then, in keeping with Murphy’s Law, reality soon caught up with us.

First, Lauren discovered that I had failed to pack an entire lunch for them, just snacks. This was completely unacceptable. She nearly wasted away before our very eyes.

This is the look of love she bestowed upon me for my little stunt of poor packing.

Next, Olivia had what she will describe as a near death experience. After checking out the waterfall, we climbed back up and the girls enjoyed walking around in the (very) shallow (I mean, 3” or less) creek that fed into the waterfall some 30 yards away. Again with the slippery rocks. Just as I warned her to be careful, down she went, falling HARD on her right hip.

“HELP ME! HELP ME! I’M DYING!! DOCTOR! HOSPITAL! AMBULANCE!!” (I am not exaggerating. There are witnesses who can back me up on this.) There she is, on all fours in the 3 inches of water, terrified and convinced she’s going to be carried all the way to the waterfall.

As good parents, we immediately both ran to rescue her and assure her she was not, in fact, facing imminent death by drowning. She will have none of it. This is the look of love we were bestowed for nearly causing her demise.

And by the way, as we were in the middle of our rescue operation for Olivia, Hank took the opportunity to wander to the nearby picnic area, where he proceeded to rob an innocent little girl of her ham sandwich. Took it right out of her hand and without so much as a thank you, gobbled it right up. I am sorry to say I do not have a picture of the look of love we were bestowed by the hungry child’s mother.

And finally, not to be outdone, Leighanne found clever new ways to make up for her mother’s failure to pack an acceptable lunch.

Maybe pine cones are high in fiber? I don’t think she enjoyed it as much as the dirt she scooped up to sample.

And so we called it quits on the family outing time. One mad as a hornet because she wanted an eight course meal served right there on the mountain, one mad as a hornet because her pants were now wet and muddy and her negligent parents had nearly let her die, and one surprisingly pleasant (even though she had puncture wounds in her mouth from her pine cone snack).

Ahh, family time. This is the stuff memories are made from.


Robin said…
Remembering our "family outing" with our three girls several years ago. We packed the tent, clothes, and food. We were going locally. Excited on arrival we pitched the tent and begin to organize things and sadly realized we had forgotten the suitcases. Dad drove the wo hours to retrieve them. Finally, we got all snuggled in the sleeping bags and much to our horror it started raining and it rained, rained, and rained. So much so that our bags were wet and so were we. It's been thirty years now since that "outing" and it remains one of the best memories. We have never forgotten it!
Laura said…
Hysterical. There is so much drama with my 3 girls it's unbelievable. I don't think a day goes by without someone threatening to run away or call into question that anyone loves them at all!our new family motto is emotional self control: you can cry, you just can't do it here.
monica said…
Yes, I recognize those looks of love. I'll have to remember to take a photo the next time I get one, which I am sure will happen at some point today. Love the blog!

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