4/9/12

Dancing wih the Band

I hope you all had a fantastic Easter! Our weekend was a full one- we hosted a baby shower, spent lots of time with family, and enjoyed a great Easter celebration. So today, while I am getting my house back in order I thought I would share with you an article I wrote for Southlake Moms a few months ago :) 

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Have you ever noticed that having small children can turn you into a bit of a hermit? Those adorable little hands and sweet voices can be used for good--- and also for ‘not so good’. A simple errand often leads to screaming and tears.  And that is usually before we even enter the store! So, sometimes it just seems easier to stay home. At home there are walls to contain a wandering toddler. At home, the dress code is a bit more relaxed- shirt, shoes, and pants are optional. And at home, singing, dancing and even yelling are considered ‘normal’ behavior.

But from what I have heard, the only way to learn about the world and how to navigate it—is to actually venture out into it. And with little ‘adult contact’ and my sanity coming into question, it seemed like a good time to go in search of those ‘real life experiences’.

So despite the fact that things could horribly awry and tears could be shed by both child and mom, we recently decided to wander outside the walls of our home. My husband and I loaded up our girls, put on a brave face and hoped for the best.  My sister had invited us to come visit her in Shreveport for the weekend to attend a Mardi Gras parade. Now I must say, my two girls are generally super sweet. At ages 6 and 2, they are good girls. But at the end of the day, they are kids. And as you know, kids will be kids.


 The thoughts of a parade with two squirrelly girls made me nervous. There would open spaces, streets with moving cars, and lots of people. Would my children run away? Would they wander off and get snatched up by a stranger? Would they be flattened like pancakes under the floats? Staying home, tucked inside our ‘comfort zone’ seemed so much easier. But faced with the fear of contracting cabin fever and that fact that I missed my sister, I decided the risk was worth the ‘experience’.

Off we went! A three hour drive, lots of movies and snacks—and then we were there. The parade spot was crowded. Lots of people were milling around. Everyone was eating and drinking, passing the time until the official start. The street had not been closed yet, so cars zoomed by just a few feet from where we were sitting. My youngest had missed her nap and I felt we were on the verge of a massive meltdown.  A million worries circled through my head.

But then I took a deep breath and focused. I focused on the other things I saw. My oldest daughter curled up with her aunt, sharing jokes and giggles. My husband smiling, talking, having fun with other adults. And my sweet two year old, well, she had some how fallen asleep in my lap. I felt the sun beat on my face and I closed my eyes to soak it all in. A ‘real life’ experience.


 After a few hours of waiting, the parade began. My girls jumped and screamed. Impromptu dancing occurred and even some singing. They were bombarded with beads, cups, and stuffed animals. They had a blast. I honestly couldn’t recall a time when I had seen my entire family wear such big smiles. 


 Later, on the drive home, I reviewed the details of the day in mind. The parade had been wonderful. Everyone had fun and none of my crazy fears ever materialized. Sure getting out into ‘the big world’ was a bit scary. And there are always ‘lots of things that could happen’. But wasn’t the adventure worth it? How else will my children learn about living if they are not given the chance? Organization and a schedule are great. But there is something to be said for ‘napping on the fly’ and dancing in the streets with a marching band.


 Maybe I need to accept the fact that on any given day, there will be some screaming and crying.  My girls are going to ‘fight me’ and run away. But the positive benefits, for ALL of us, of having an adventure, outweigh any negative thoughts that may creep into my mind.

So my suggestion to all of us mothers with small children, don’t let fear and anxiety turn you into a hermit. Our children will misbehave, they will embarrass us, and they will test our limits. But, get out anyway. In my experience, it usually turns out better than you think!

Come back tonight and share your inspiring story, latest diy project, delicious recipe, or whatever you have been blogging about. "Cowgirl Up!" is the original linked linky party, dedicated to celebrating the 'can-do' spirit in all of use. Hope to see ya'll there :) 

6 comments:

  1. I TOTALLY agree!!! Adventure is well worth the tears it may bring! Kudos!!!

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  2. What a fun outing for everyone. Squirrelly girls are the best kind. :)

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  3. You all make me smile! It's amazing what our kiddos can teach us :)

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  4. Hi! I don't even have kids and I loved this post. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

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  5. I so remember those days. We went to several parades that stressed me out. So glad you enjoyed it. There are some things I miss from my kids being small... and some things I don't miss, ha, ha. (I have 2 girls too, so I know drama, up close and personal. You have a beautiful family.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I love to hear from you and will do my best to answer questions and comments by 'replying via email'.
:) Samantha

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