This past weekend the kids and I packed our bags and headed to St. Petersburg for a family wedding. The kids were thrilled to get to miss a few days of school and I was looking forward to a few days without so much running around. I was a little scattered in the days before we left trying to wrap things up with work and get things ready. I would be fine throwing everything into laundry baskets to make packing quick and efficient. Since we were headed to a very nice, posh hotel I decided against it. I can only imagine the horror on my daughters faces as the bellhop unloaded laundry baskets from the car. I decided maybe it was time to give the kids a little more responsibility and let them each pack for themselves.. I tend to group my children in pairs. They share rooms as a pair, they do chores as a pair, at times it seems like they always get in trouble as pairs. There are the “older” girls, the boys, and the “little” girls. The day before we left I made each pair a precise list of what to pack. Not quite ready to relinquish my role as “Queen of Packing”, I decided to take a quick peek into the suitcases before we left. take turns wearing the dress!! We are going to a formal wedding, which means if you pack one dress to share than one of you is going naked.water is 3 feet deep. Finn is four feet tall. Really? Did anyone think to tell him to put his feet down and touch the ground? With mascara running down my face I ask him why did he say he was stuck when he could have touched the ground? He tells me he doesn’t like the way the concrete in the pool feels on his feet so he didn’t want to touch it. You have to love these mommy moments. The wedding was beautiful and I am happy to say that everyone had something to wear. At the reception I finally took a minute to look at my children and breathe. The kids were out on the dance floor having a blast. I joined them on the dance floor and took my seven year old into my arms. Her little face lit up and she was beaming as we spun around. As I danced with each one of them there was nothing on their faces but pure joy. That was when it clicked. I have been so caught up in the day to day activities and stress of life that I have forgotten to stop and dance with my children. We arrived home with lots of happy memories. I confess that the suitcases have not all been unpacked. There is a still a ton of laundry that needs to be done. But each night in the kitchen we have turned the music on and I have been dancing with my children.
In the blink of an eye I went from the suburban mom who had it all to a single mom of six facing divorce, death, and moving. So what do you do when life throws you so many curves? You pick yourself up and find out you are stronger than you ever imagined. Blythe Newsome