By nature, I love to get out. Before I had Naomi I made sure to get out of the house every day, for work, for shopping, or just for a walk. But now that I have four kids, I find that my desire for sanity outweighs my desire to get out. It takes twenty minutes of hard work to get through the necessary potty stops, diaper changes, foot shodding, coat donning, water-bottle filling, and diaper-bag packing. Once we're out the door, the only moment of peace is the drive to our destination. "Everybody all strapped down now? Good...maybe we'll take the long way." Sometimes Matt asks why I drive so slowly. Maybe because I'm cautious, maybe because I need a rest after the effort to get to the driver's seat.
But on Saturday the 70 degree weather after a long winter pried me from the comfort of routine. I looked on the Internet and found a county park near us, then announced to the kids (and Matt) that we were going for a picnic. Toby could hardly believe his ears, "Where's truck shoes?" he asked, darting around the house. "Put coat on! Go bye-bye in van! Swing on swings...Weeee!" He whined impatiently as I packed the sandwiches and drinks and as we completed our leaving-the-house routine. But it was worth the wait.
The air was warm and fresh, there were very few bugs, and very few people. The kids ran along the nature trail, stared spell-bound at the waterfall under the bridge, and giggled with delight to find a second waterfall at the end of the trail. Hannah discovered the rock-climbing wall, and soon all the kids were climbing up under Daddy's watchful eye, dashing down the slope, and climbing up again.
"Oh, thank you, Mommy!" Hannah glowed. "I love this place so much! I want to sleep here tonight. I want to live here forever!"
"Step on rocks!" Toby added, "Frow sticks in waterfall!"
"I don't know, Hannah, what about the wolves at night?" I asked with spooky eyes.
Hannah froze for a minute, then wrinkled her nose at me, "Stop, Mommy, there's no wolves here!"
So with no wolves to deter them, it was hard to drag the kids away. "No! No!" Toby protested. "Frow sticks in waterfall!"
I promised to bring them back again soon, though. It was well worth the effort.