It’s not that I suck most days – maybe I do – but my kids are fed, clothed, cuddled and a heck of a lot of attention is paid to them.
But today? Today was different.
The day dawned clear, cool and sunny. There was a breeze that wouldn’t stop and the birds wouldn’t shut up.
I was greeted at 6am to a smiling Cara who proudly told me she had sneaked into my room and I knew, by that look on her face, it was time to start the day.
Breakfast was served, a couple of cartoons were watched and I read a magazine. By 8am, it felt like it was 2pm and my eyelids were becoming increasingly heavy. I sat down my coffee cup, looked at the kids and told them to find their shoes because we were leaving.
Any trip is like a party to them so they were beside themselves with excitement.
I had only planned a quick trip to Starbucks and back but after we got our stuff, I didn’t want to go home. Driving felt nice and the kids were happy. Why mess with a good thing?
We drove for a bit and I found myself in a part of Huntsville I had never visited. The road became increasingly steeper and my SUV cursed me because of the grade of the road. This was just one of the many times today I was glad my SUV has 6 cylinders to pull from.
Up, up, up we went to where, I didn’t know. All I did know was that the glimpses I was getting through the trees, heavy with bright green leaves, were breath taking and since we didn’t have anything better to do, I didn’t see the harm in pressing forward and upward.
By this point, Oliver had fallen asleep and Cara looked like she was well on her way to following her brother.
Up we went, passing houses I would love to call home and drop-offs that stopped my heart.
Once we got to the observatory, I found it closed but the road kept going up and I followed it. At the very, very end of this very, very high road was the Monte Sano State Park – which I didn’t even know existed.
The very nice lady at the gate waved the entrance fee since I had never visited before and, in fact, didn’t even realize the park was going to be my destination. We drove around and eventually came to an overlook. And when I say “overlook”, I mean it really was an overlook.
Can you see how happy Cara was? I mean, her tongue is out and everything. That’s when you really know she’s a happy camper. I wish I had had our camera instead of just my phone because that picture doesn’t do the view justice.
After I took a couple of pictures, Cara and I climbed back into the car to find a still sleeping Oliver drooling on himself and we made our way back down the mountain and then home.
Since the day was still beautiful and I had promised Cara we would go to the trail that’s near our apartment, I packed up the kids, my old Radio Flyer wagon and the dog and we set off for the trail.
Much to my surprise, the dog was good, the kids picked flowers, and we walked that path for a good two hours before the threat of rain sent us packing.
I was rewarded for my good works by two very sleepy children and a very sleepy dog who all took wonderfully long naps.
Today was one of those days I suspect I might remember for the rest of my life. It’s one of those days I hope Cara will always remember and when she gets older and is convinced that I completely suck as a mom, she’ll look back at it and realize that we actually did have some fun times.
Today I felt like a good mom. A real mom.
Images/Amy Tucker and Flickr