It’s not enough that I spent another day at the amusement park. My children didn’t go to bed until after 10 p.m. How is that possible? We spent eight hours outside on a sweltering day. They played in the water. Taking your children swimming usually means automatic alone time at night. I feel like I ran a race, was in first place and tripped at the finish line.
The amusement park passes were a surprise for my children. I don’t know if you can call it a gift. A gift has a positive connotation in most cultures. Sending me with children to stand in long lines, spin repeatedly and wade in the water with strangers isn’t my idea of a present. I was given a chore. Okay, I will admit it’s not completely horrible. I wish I could bottle the sound of my 8-year-old’s giggle when we were blasted with water on a rafting ride. My 5-year-old daughter was grinning ear to ear as we splashed in the wave pool. I cherish those moments. It’s the other seven hours and 50 minutes that is exhausting. There was something bizarre happening in the wave pool. A man carrying a bible was walking around looking for people to save. There was a religious retreat at the amusement park this weekend. I was fascinated by his presence and in awe of his determination. Preaching to people being tossed to and fro by man made waves seems challenging. Then again, I did pray to God several times after being knocked over by teenagers. Dear God, get these kids away from me before I hurt them. Amen.
That was yesterday. So, when presented with the opportunity to spend a few hours alone today I jumped at the chance. I dropped my children off at their grandparent’s house with a plan. I was going to relax after running a few errands. I had a pleasant drive to a local mall. The sun was shining. I was drinking my favorite coffee and listening to Howard Stern on the radio. I drove by a group of Amish men and women playing volleyball.
There was a group of women huddled in a circle near the volleyball nets. I can only imagine they were venting about their lackluster dresses and the fact that they still have to wear bonnets in 2015.
I went to one store in the mall and left. My 20-something self cannot believe it either. I didn’t have any children tugging on my leg to leave and I left anyway. Then, I went to the store to get milk. One wheel on the cart was rebelling against the other three and spinning in another direction. As I struggled to keep the cart straight one question crossed my mind. Why am I wasting time at a grocery store when I could be doing anything I want? Then, I passed a few women standing in the vitamin supplement aisle and debating which probiotic is more effective. Suddenly, my Saturday night seemed exciting. I didn’t have to break up a single fight for several hours and can now cross ‘Watch an Amish volleyball tournament’ off my bucket list.