So what to do when you are sick and tired of the same old-same old? Load all your little hellions into the van and set off on An Excursion!
But only after you tell them that you will all be going on An Excursion—they scream YAY!!—and will therefore be missing out on the Sunday night movie—they FREAK OUT WAAAH!—at which point you give them a lecture about if they can’t be flexible with movie night then you’re going to have to NIX MOVIE NIGHT ALL TOGETHER. Because, it’s summer time, guys, and that means that we don’t need to be entertained by that little evil box SO JUST GET OVER IT ALL READY.
Then be happy when everyone quickly readjusts their attitudes and runs around squeezing into too-small suits and stealing your sneakers because you have been negligent in buying them any clothes because it’s just too dang expensive and you hate squandering entire evenings on kid-centric shopping trips. And besides, you spent all the allotted money for clothing on some yoga pants because how you look is more important than how the kids look because they can get away on their youthful good looks and you can’t, so there.
When everyone is in the car, take a picture of yourself out the window. Don’t bark.
Then take a picture of your lap via the flip-down mirror and be happy because it looks semi-hipstamatic.
Take a picture of the pack in the back.
Take a picture of the convenience store and the man you married exiting it with a luxurious bag o’ Lays.
Then tell the kids to cut out all the happy screaming because some paranoid person will walk by and think you don’t feed them. (You don't really say that.)
Get to the swimming hole, because that’s what it means to Go On An Excursion in your house, and be a little worried about all the drunk adults running around throwing cups of water on each other, swearing, and—Mom! They’re snogging!—yep, snogging. In your Harry Potter house, PDA is known as snogging.
The creek is quite high and fr-fr-fr-freezing cold. While the kids go about the business of acquiring blue lips, you entertain yourself with the steller combination of running water and different apertures and shutter speeds.
You take a crazy number of pictures of your kids looking like drowned rats.
In between times, you steal pictures of your husband.
Your son strikes up a friendship with another preteen—your husband even sees them bond with the oh-so-cool fist bump that you know your son has never done before.
Which is kinda funny because just that very morning your husband had a conversation with some fellow church goers about how homeschooled kids don’t really know how to socialize, though your husband wasn’t saying that, of course. And then your husband says, “Our homeschooled son is out there making friends with complete strangers and here I am, a product of public schools, cowering in a corner,” and you laugh and think to yourself, I need to blog about this sometime.
Some friends meet up with you, and your daughter begs their baby and enjoys some quality cuddle time.
As you watch her hold the baby with one hand and eat with the other while observing the creek-side action, and then, when the baby fusses and she automatically starts to jiggle her leg without ever looking at the infant, you think the thought that has crossed your mind many, many times, “Now would be the time to have another child. I wouldn't have to do anything!”
Because this seven-year-old child of yours would be perfectly capable of doing everything for the baby, except for breastfeeding—and she’d probably try to do that, too—plus, you have two older kids who could do everything as well.
At this point in your life, a baby would be a delicious piece of cake.
But it ain’t gonna happen, so you shake the thought and snap a picture of your friends’ extremely adorable and precocious daughter.
And then the snoggers leave and your friends leave, and your kids are so frozen stiff you’re afraid they might make like a board and float downstream so you pack it all up and head home.
This same time, years previous: barbecued pork ribs, fresh strawberry cream pie (I've made two already this spring) (And check out the awesome, no-shrink pie crust while you're at it. It's awesome.)