As a person with some perfectionist tendencies, I often fall victim to the reality of a situation not living up to the fantasy in my head. No matter that the mental image is improbable, if not impossible - the perfectly, perfect experience should be had at all costs. This is no more exasperating than when I'm trying to get our family on some outing where we Bond! and Have Fun! and Make Memories!
The truth is, having kids is kind of a wild card - you never know what may happen, despite your best laid plan and well intended efforts. But as much as I'd like to point at my children for this recurring phenomenon, it really is just more a case of cosmic weirdness. I believe the universe does not appreciate us trying to control our own experiences and so, ever so gently, begins to mess with us in order to show it's dominance. Yes, I really think this - if you know me in real life, you will totally understand what I'm getting at. See this post for reference: Zumba Class
Today was a prime example of this theory. Yesterday was absolutely beautiful - a warm spring day, not a cloud in the sky. Birds were singing, butterflies were flitting around, neighbors were cutting grass - truly idyllic. We stayed home though, doing a few chores, resting, hanging around for the most part, kinda just needing to take it easy. Got some laundry done, some household bidness handled. Everything was fine.
This morning, however, we decided it would be nice to get out and about in order to enjoy this gorgeous weekend. Same as yesterday, not a cloud in the sky, singing birds, etc. We decided that Hampton Park would be our destination - large, great for picnics, playing catch, chasing squirrels (the dog, not the children) and not a long ride. Sounds great, right? I mean, look at this place - it's post card worthy!
Well it was. Until we got there and began looking for a picnic table, of which there are plenty. Firstly, my husband parked as far away as possible from the area I wanted to set up in, but no matter. Headed towards another cluster of tables only to be thwarted by a large group of people with at least eleven dogs between them. Head towards another table which looked just right and upon our approach realized that some sketchy looking peeps had snagged it. Finally settled on another location, sat down and ate our lunch. My mounting frustration eased, as we all enjoyed a delicious meal while sitting among beautiful blooming trees and shrubs, watching our little dog chase squirrels to her heart's content.
Then we decide to put some stuff back in the truck. Due to a communication problem between my husband and I, all four of us ended up walking back to the parking spot and then back to the picnic spot, all the while carrying our goods, which were getting heavy to be honest. Finally get re-settled, kids are running, playing, relaxing and KAAA-BOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!! Thunder. However, it seemed distant, so we carried on...for about three minutes until both children announced they needed to use the restroom. So we walked back across the park to the restroom, which was not only a hike, but also included a super creepy escort by one of the local sketchballs who had snagged our picnic table.
This part was especially awesome - if you want to see a totally average WASP go from Anglo to Saxon, follow her and her children around a park. Dude almost got a camera upside the head. Anyway, after forcing Will into the ladies room with me and Cecilia, we beat a hasty exit back to our spot where Lawton was waiting. Actually, he had decided that we need to move again to be closer to one of the shelters if it decided to really rain. Got resettled, began throwing a ball around while Will began climbing a tree, and lo and behold, here comes my stalker again. I almost screamed, more out of frustration than anything else.
Here is where it got super weird. Of course it starts raining so we skedaddle for the shelter that Lawton has picked out for us, only realize that is being occupied by two guys practicing some kind of martial art (Krav Magda maybe?) while playing the absolute weirdest music I've ever heard. So it's us, the two fighter guys and their crazy tunes, three neighborhood kids on bikes and a homeless guy, all chillin' in the pavilion. (You liked that, I know you did.) We hang there for a few really awkward moments, and Lawton decides we just need to head for the truck to leave.
Up until this point the rain was light - fat drops but not pouring. When we get about 100 feet out from the shelter, it begins to rain in earnest. Lightning, thunder, wind - the whole deal. The kids and I run for it, leaving my poor husband and the dog to bring up the rear. We beat a hasty exit out of downtown because while my beloved hometown of Charleston is absolutely gorgeous, she was also built on a swamp, and heavy sudden rain can mean terrible flooding, especially if the tide is right. The kids were wet and kinda bummed out, so I suggested ice cream.
We proceeded to Cold Stone, picked up the ice cream to go, came home and have been watching Planet Earth DVDs ever since. Cecilia is playing on the computer, Will is laying on the sofa learning about the jungle and Lawton and the dog are snoring on the floor. Honestly, sometimes I wonder why we even bother leaving the house.
Am I alone? Please tell me this happens to other people. Share your best laid plans gone awry stories with me - misery loves company!