Why can't I take my own advice? Seriously.
This morning as the kids were getting their suits on to go to the spray park, there was a knock at the door and Mara stuck her head in. I walked out into the living room, holding one kid or another, wondering where the others were, and hoping that whoever had just come into my house was someone I knew.
Luckily it was, and she was there to tell me there was a change of plan.
"It's dollar bowling day! Let's go bowling instead of to the spray park!"
I quickly agreed, which was proof positive that I'd blocked out my last bowling experience, and we quickly changed wardrobe and zoomed off to meet my friend Laura (Who just started her own blog called Deen Bom. Check her out!).
We arrived with our twelve kids in tow and in roughly six hours we had socks and bowling shoes on them all.
Seth immediately ran out onto a lane and slid about four feet past where I could reach him, and that's when it hit me with startling clarity: This was a questionable decision.
Seth screamed like a banshee every second he wasn't literally throwing the ball down the lane (although the tenth of a second that he WAS bowling he was adorably excited and yelled "Go!" helpfully every time he rolled the ball). After he bowled each time, I carried him as far away as possible and plopped him into a seat, after which it took exactly one second for him to be back up in everyone's business, including the poor people on either side of us who had no idea what they were getting into.
Evany decided she was starving to death right in the thick of a buzzing beehive of children circling around, arguing over whose ball was whose, which was heavier, and who was bowling on which lane. It was all good natured, but it was beyond chaotic for a while. Seth was draping himself over balls, Daniel accidentally wandered into another lane and come thisclose to getting creamed, his mom ran up to save him with Evany in one arm. The girls all circled around to cheer for each other and everyone was on top of one another.
It took us two hours to play one game, and by the time we left, all four of my kids were tired, cranky, and beyond whiny (I was tired, cranky, and whiny within about ten minutes, to be honest). There were at least ten times I said "Why did we do this again?"
And then I remembered. Because as trying and stressful and as it was to be one of three adults facilitating an afternoon of bowling for a ton of kids, to Ava and Jace and even Seth today, they had a blast. Yes, I get tired. I feel lazy. I want to sit around and chat while eating ice cream while my kids play idyllically by my feet. But for my kids, these raucous, crazy days are the things that are going to be the building blocks of what they remember a their childhood. And that's what I want for them, to remember how they went bowling and slid down the lane or walked around Busch Gardens in the pouring rain or how we stopped at the guitar store and formed a pretend band. I'll remember the looks on their faces a lot longer than I'll remember that I was tired or stressed out.
So I guess I'll take one for the team. It's worth it.
(Although I would like to special order a couple of those ice cream days, too, if that's ok.)