Sometimes I have a hard time with the weekends. I've spent the week orbiting around the house and a few other destinations, feeding, clothing, cleaning and generally taking care of my home and my family. Come the weekend, my husband is home and wants some much-needed down time. I, on the other hand, am eager for a companion to join me in taking the kids a little further afield and getting a change of scenery while sharing the kid-load. Staying at home full-time means that weekends can really just feel like more of the same.
This weekend Chris had a charity golf tournament on the calendar, so Saturday was feeling very much like just another day. I recalled, however, that I'd seen an insert in the paper last weekend advertising a Children's Book Festival. Although the kids are older now and require less *stuff* for an outing, they can still be a handful when it's just me and the two of them. I decided to suck it up, however, and just go.
I'm so glad I did! The festival was sponsored by Target and was just one of the amazingly well-planned family-friendly events happening in the Twin Cities every single weekend. There is ALWAYS something to do here. Admission was free, there was ample parking, and even golf carts with friendly guys ferrying all the families to and from the parking lots. I saw one young guy even hold a mom's baby for her while she collapsed her stroller. So nice.
The event was held in a huge park so, although there were a ton of people, it didn't feel crowded. I was a little worried that it was going to be mostly a book sale, but in fact there was only one tent actually selling books. There was an enormous Book Nook, with rocking chairs, kid-sized armchairs, beanbags and floor pillows and a TON of books for the kids to read. It was so neat seeing all these parents reading to their kids. At one point there was an eight-year-old girl reading to my kids and I was reading to another little girl sitting near by.
The Children's Museum was there with a hands-on foam block area that the kids could build with. A local kids' theatre company had a ton of dress-up clothes and a mirror. That was such a huge hit with Brighton! A nature center that rescues owls had a neat display of all things owl-related, and there was a booth with hundred of bubble wands and bubbles literally everywhere. There were indoor toilets as well as plenty of porta-potties, free face painting booths, food stalls that had some relatively healthy options and a visitors center for cooling off. I saw parents everywhere sharing sunscreen with each other, the weather being unexpectedly warm.
All in all, it was a truly fantastic day. I shed my Type-A skin for a day and ignored the coming and going of lunchtime and the time we'd have needed to leave to get home for regular napping. I didn't even bring a stroller and had not one complaint from a kid not wanting to walk. There was a main stage with musical performers and I danced like an idiot with the kids, not caring for once who was watching.
And finally, as we were winding down, I sat there with two kids in my lap, sweaty, smeared with face paint and approaching grumpiness, and I felt so damn lucky. Being a mom is relentless, sometimes not particularly gratifying work but these moments...these moments more than make up for it. I wanted to come right home and write it down, so I can reference entries like this on the tougher days.