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Monday, April 22, 2013

get away

For the end of school vacation week Sandi and I took the girls to Portland.  We all love Portland: Sandi and I for the liberal, semi-city feel, for Trader Joe's and the Green Elephant vegetarian bistro.  The girls love it for Build-A-Bear, staying in a hotel and for the TV, pool and breakfast in said hotel.
Sandi had to be at UNE for her Advanced Life Support class all day Friday so we stayed Thursday night and Friday night.  While she was doing a refresher on saving people's lives, we went to Build-A-Bear.  Sounds even doesn't it?
The girls had some Easter money burning a hole in their pockets. (Maya's was burning a hole in her Hello Kitty wallet.)  This was their main event in Portland.  They cared little about flip flop weather, the hike I had planned or the trip to the super cool park.  For them it was all about the commercial experience.
Somehow I managed to dissuade them from getting any more stuffed animals (which would inevitably join the ranks of the others smooshed into bins in their bedroom) and instead to get accessories to play with the ones they already have.
They relished the shopping experience.  It was fun to not have a time commitment or anywhere to be and to just enjoy them as they pondered, changed their mind and twirled in circles around the store.  Maya is really into Hello Kitty (she has a stuffed one, plus the toothpaste, purse, blanket and shirts- yes, I am serious).  Ella was all about acquiring some clothes for her bears.

Ella has been saying really funny, grown-up things lately.  As Maya was pinning over a deflated pink Hello Kitty that was just begging to be stuffed and brought home, I gently encouraged her away from it, saying there was no way for her to carry around two massive-headed Hello Kitties.  As she walked away to put it back in the bin,  I explained this to Ella:
"You see honey, I don't say no just to say no.  Momma always has a good reason if I'm directing you a certain way.  I can see the big picture.  Maya has two other Build-A-Bears at home besides Hello Kitty that she doesn't even play with.  It makes no sense for her to have a fourth stuffed animal, especially such a big one.  So I am trying to talk her out of spending her money on something she can't really use. You get what I mean?"
Ella nodded and said seriously,  "Momma, for the first time in my whole life I think I just saw the big picture."

Maya left with some outfits, this bed and a baby Hello Kitty to the giant one she already had which ended up being a good call.  She's really into moms and babies and it is so cute the way she cares for them.

Ella left with a few outfits including this get-up.  I, for one, am so relieved Daisy will sleep well at night with this sleep mask.
Then it was on to Mackworth Island to the fairy house village to do some building.  We went there last year on a similar trip to Portland and it is such a fun place.  I know my kids are older now because I am willing to brave trips on foot without another adult present.
Maya carried Hello Kitty in this backpack which then required her to utilize a walking stick.

The weather was warmish but you wanted a sweatshirt and to keep moving. I found myself grateful to be outside, gulping fresh air but wishing for just a touch more green. I feel so deprived of green.  But it is hard not to be moved by the majesty of the world awakening once again.

 And then...what a sight for sore eyes.  The promise of the woodsy growth that has started and will gain intense momentum in the next few weeks makes me incredibly happy.  Being able to count on this in such an uncertain world is very comforting to me.

Fairy house construction:

 Maya took the unconventional approach with the backpack for the return journey.  Don't worry.  It isn't as though she dropped one of the water bottles tucked into the mesh outside pocket while scaling a log and we had to backtrack to hunt for it.

This is why it is vitally important that I have some time with my kids that isn't scheduled and where we don't have anywhere to be.  I need it. They need it.  Together we need it.  There can be time for exploration, water bottle hunting and finding just the right rock, shell or acorn.

And time to appreciate the incredibly friendly squirrels.

This is the life granted to the stuffed animals spared the humiliation and rejection of the bottom of the animal bin.

It was nice to have a break from laundry and cooking and to-do lists. Even if just for two days. (Although I will say that coming home to all the unpacking and settling back in at home makes me wish we had stayed away longer.)  I never thought I would be able to say this of my high-strung self but I have finally cultivated some peace in myself and around myself:  time to breath, to enjoy and to just be. 
All I can say is better late than never.



flandmade said...

What fun! I love fairy houses. Yay for spring slowly becoming more spring-y.

Zoe Kreitzer said...

Way to savor the moment, girl! :D

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