Yesterday, my husband and I went OUT.
With no kids.
Not even the baby.
We were gone ALL DAY.
We were at the STATE FAIR.
And we had FUN!
Can you believe it? We got out of the house!!! That so rarely happens, and I am sure that I could count all the times it does on one hand. To my surprise, it was my husband's idea to go to the fair. He hates the fair! Like really, REALLY hates it. But knowing how much I enjoy it, he invited me to go on a day just for us. What a sweet, sweet guy....I am a blessed woman, indeed.
The day was chilly, and crowded as expected for a Saturday. We walked and walked, for about 6 hours, trying bites of fried delights in about every corner of the campus. To add increasing shock value to the day, Bob's first bite of fair food was popping a grape leaf roll-up into his mouth from our falafel kabob.....which had fallen to the ground. Does the 5-second rule really apply to State Fair concrete???
Honey taffy, honey lemonade for $1, honey-sunflower ice cream, fried pickles, nut rolls, corn fritters with honey butter, real ginger ale that burns the back of your throat, apple dumplings, and roasted cinnamon almonds. YUM. The fried Spam curds we could have done without. We had a marvelous day, bought some sweatshirts to keep warm, strolled through the buildings, just missed the birth of a baby cow (and declined to stay for the placenta), and rode the Sky Ride. It was nice to talk and stroll along, without any responsibilities other than to keep putting one foot in front of the other, over and over and over. By day's end, we were so tired, and feeling so OLD. While back at home, Grandma ? had everything under control, and even the baby was being sweet and doing well. Thanks, Grandma!
On Sunday, I took the kids on a short walk after church. The plan was to only visit the cache located in the neighborhood behind our house to modify a login the kids had done yesterday with Grandma ?. I had one real stroller, one toy stroller, and 7 kids. Nothing more. Though ill equipped for a long walk on such a hot day, somehow walking the 3/4 mile distance to a park sounded like a good idea. "Can we make it?", I wondered. Made it, we did. And shared the space with an apparent mosquito convention.
Hot, thirsty, and itching from bug bites, one would think the next move would be to head back home. But where is the adventure in that? "Can we make it another mile to the huge park on the hill?", I wondered out loud. By some miracle, we did. And the kids were happy to play. Sure, now VERY thirsty and tired, but happy all the same. And the baby? Well, she was hungry. And poopy. I could help her with the hunger part, and used a circular nursing pad as a burp cloth. But the rest? All I had was the stroller. Oh, and my camera (naturally). But certainly no diapers, water bottles, wipes, or cell phone to call for help. We were on our own.
Even when compared to our marathon walking around the fair yesterday, the walk back home from the park was the longest of my entire life. Those little legs we SO tired and took such very SMALL and SLOW steps. They were trying so hard to keep going.....my good little kiddos. But time kept ticking, and tiny steps kept slowing, and little complaints started growing. "I'm so hot!" "I'm tired!" "My legs are broken!" "I need my water bottle!" "Een! Een!" and "WAAAHHH!" Jonny and Crispy had the advantage of coasting down the hills on their bikes. (Michael bailed out on us after the first park because he thought we were crazy.) Melissa won the Endurance Award for pushing that toy doll stroller all over tarnation and beyond...sometimes even with her little brother hitching a necessary ride.
While we enjoyed a beautiful summer day outdoors, I don't think we will be trying something like that again without being prepared. Oh well, lesson learned.