Maya and I sent Dada and Finn off on a Father & Son campout for church. Finn was SO excited, but was really dragging his feet in terms of finding his boots and duffle bag. And there was some whining and crying over marshmallows. I started to worry that maybe he was a little too young to be doing this. That there would be more whining and crying. But what I really wanted was for Finn (and Wes's) expectations to be met. I wanted a success.
Earlier today I was talking to my Mom on the phone about an upcoming trip to Disneyland. "Do you think the kids can handle it?" she asked with a suddenly dubious tone. I told her that it will be a total success if we do one thing: Don't have any preconceived notions about how the day should go. If we don't expect a perfectly blissful day, we won't be disappointed. If we accept that whining and crying will happen, and that those things are part of every singe day with small ones, then we'll all handle it just fine. I learned to give up on "painting a picture" in my mind a long time ago. Because every time I had a certain idea of how things should pan out, they would just go horribly wrong ("wrong" being not the image in my mind). So I don't dwell on it any more. I just hold my breath, and then I'm pleasantly surprised when things actually go really well. Surprisingly well in some cases.
Take today. Right after Wes and Finn pulled out of the driveway, I loaded Maya up for a trip to CVS. I DREAD going to the store with Maya. She won't sit in the cart (never has), and I have to carry her AND push the cart. She wiggles and tries to escape, and screams loudly. My arm almost falls off every time, and I am sweating by the end, with only half of the things on my list (plus fruit snacks always sneak their way in). Today I strapped Maya into her little red stroller, and headed into CVS. Within 5 minutes she was ASLEEP in the stroller. Stop the presses!! She's never done that in her entire 2 year life! I was in shock. In so much shock that I walked around that CVS store for an hour smiling broadly at people and pointing to my sleeping angel. "She never does this! I am buying more cotton balls! Look at all those nail polish colors—I have to pick up every single bottle." Too bad it wasn't the mall. Sure it was a boring drug store, but it was an exciting success. It made me hopeful that Disneyland might have a fair shot at being a triumph, as well.
I came home with a drowsy Maya to find a photo in my inbox (the one I've posted at the top of this post). And I have to say, all expectations aside, that looks like the most perfect picture I could have ever painted for them. Let's all raise a s'more to success!