It may have been the best spring break day yet.  It started with green pampcakes and Lucky Charms (because we’re on vacation) which were both magically delicious, I’m told.  And were eaten between fort making endeavors in the family room where all the furniture had congregated so the hard floors could be buffed and waxed by my staff today.  The guilt of a breakfast during which most of my children only ate crap was overshadowed by the fact that I let them drag in blankets from all over the place and build whole cities in the furniture.  It’s what I would have wanted to do if I were 5, 7, and almost 9 and had eaten crap for breakfast.

Notice the gummy-vites.  And the teeny hairbrush.  That’s how we roll.
Peter made an incredibly clever Anglerfish costume.  Incredibly clever.  I’m totally using that next Halloween.  For green pampcakes and clever costumes and fort cities, it may have been the best day of spring break.
We headed to the zoo in the late morning, only just remembering I needed to pack lunches.  I tossed a package of turkey and a block of cheese and some bunny carrots and greek yogurt into a bag and called it good.  That’s how we roll around here too.  Besides, it wasn’t about the food.  It was about hanging out with dear friends (you know who you are) and watching the chimpanzees pick things out of each other rectums and throwing up in our mouths when the anaconda was squeezed up against the glass and all I could think about was that email I got years ago that showed someone inside an anaconda.  He was dead.  They both were actually and it was horrifying.  Snakes are horrifying.  For wild animals and friends and not losing anybody, it may have been the best day of spring break yet.
We couldn’t go home until the floors had dried, which was after dinner, so I taught the kids about antiquing.  Told them an antique store is like an ISpy book where you have to look lots of times to see all there is to see.  Gave them five bucks each and told them to not touch anything and no running.  They were gems.  Peter bought arguably the creepiest clown toy that pops out of a cone and just totally scares me.  But they were gems, so I didn’t care.  Took them to Jersey Junction for a cone and then got Tessie some new shoes.  They were perfect.  I kept telling them that.  For rainbow sherbet and sparkly Morgan&Milos and a teeny ceramic bunny that cost five dollars exactly, it may have been the best day of spring break yet.
I dragged them to Costco so I could get some strawberries and check out the ten person tent I have my eye on purchasing as part of my get-the-Vos’-back-into-car-camping agenda.  It was still there.  The kids walked around and ate samples of things like Bosco sticks and Kirkland brand American cheese slices and then everyone got a whopping slice of pizza for dinner.  In case you’re keeping track, that’s two crap meals and one good meal.  I hope you’re not keeping track.  I left the kids in the car and ran into Furriest Foods so I could grab kleenex and a couple boxes of gluten free Chex.  They were wonderful.  For food samples and pizza sauce in the corners of their mouths and eating dry Chex on the way to Grant’s baseball practice, this may have been the best day of spring break.

The youngers played on the playground at the Little League fields while Grant practiced.  They found this weird round and round thing that I tried, but I started to dry heave and had to get off.  They loved it. Love all the things that make me dry heave.   Then Lucy got tired, of course she got tired.  No nap, dragged from place to place and now at a playground in the freezing cold and it’s past her bedtime and I can’t remember the last time I changed her diaper.  This is the last picture taken today in which I look remotely happy.  And I’m pretty sure that just after I snapped it, I said, “Ok, now I need to not have anyone hanging on me for a bit.  I love you but I need a little space.  I’m serious.”  Or something like that.
What follows is the reason today will not be remembered at the best day of spring break.  Not even sort of.  We froze.  We retreated to the car.  The kids climbed all over the inside, eating the string cheese we’d just gotten at Costco and standing on the strawberries and making me sweat.  Just before Grant finished, I tried to start the car.  Nothing.  Carrying a crying Lucy, I went from car to car asking after some jumper cables.  The coach finally found some but to no avail.  Nothing.  He left us knowing Dan was on his was home from class and would swing by and pick us up within the half hour.  But it was cold and dark and the boys climbed up on the roof of the dugout and got stuck and Lucy wandered around the bases crying and dragging her clean blanket behind her and I spilled the strawberries as I was taking everything out of my car.  I told the kids to go to the bathroom in the woods, which Tess did unsuccessfully, but Peter bounded out of the trees shouting, “Best thing about poopin in the woods?  Not having to wipe.”
By the time Dan arrived I was in tears, nearly.  But not as nearly as when I walked in the door from the day and they’d forgotten to do two rooms and there was a blown breaker in half the house and the dispatcher for the tow truck kept calling saying the driver couldn’t find the ball fields and I remembered I’d already stocked up on strawberries the day before.
Deep breath.  This coulda been the best day of spring break.  But it didn’t end well.  And yet, as I was kissing the kids and tucking them in and telling them I’d had fun with them today, I realized it was true.  I did have fun with them today.  And tomorrow is a whole new day.  And it’s going to be filled with more dear friends (you know who you are too) and new adventures and lots of strawberries.
So this is me being real.  Exhausted and heading to the monster bed so this day can be put to rest and another birthed.  This day that coulda been the best.  This day that sort of was.

5 Replies to “coulda.”

  1. been there, done that, too many times to count. Didn't sound nearly as funny when I was living it.

    sometimes as a mom, coulda been the best is good enough.

    I think God wanted you to bnember the best day of vacation was when I made bird stew, but that's just me.

    love you deep


  2. Oh my, that is quite the day. Those days send me to bed exhausted and tears stinging my eyes. Glad you survived “the best day that wasn't”.
    We enjoyed my break as well. But my eventful “adventure” (we tell Asa we're going on an adventure each day, he eats it up!) was Meijer Gardens where my son nearly drenched 10 unaware bystanders by turning on the water spigot. Luckily mommy is quick, even while baby-wearing, and saved the day. He also swatted at the dainty butterflies and ran off the path a record number of times. I think I've sworn off Meijer Gardens, at least with Asa. Charlotte was perfect:)


  3. Seriously Rebekah, sometimes it isn't even worth leaving the house. Except that we'd go crazy if we didn't. So we leave and then we come home with memories and sweat in our bras and swearing not to do it ever again. Love it.


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