Mother’s Day started on Friday night for us and I made sure to tell Rory that it’s only the most important weekend of the year. We all met at Red Robin for burgers– how on Earth did I go my whole life without eating Red Robin burgers? The banzai burger is 720 calories of hormone/antibiotic/preservative-free beef with a slice of grilled pineapple, teriyaki sauce with a pile of sustainably-farmed vegetables. Their tiny little french fries are the best I’ve ever had and I don’t even remotely like french fries.
We don’t take our kids out in public very often so meeting up for burgers is always a big adventure in parenting. Emily wants to pull out napkins from the dispenser one by one, Rory is excited about catchup and mustard in tiny cups, they want to race up and down the long booths and don’t care about the other families sitting there, one or both have to go pee, Rory yells something about Andy and I drinking “grown up juice” (beer) to the whole restaurant. They have to fight over and share and trade everything. It’s not the least bit relaxing.
On Saturday Andy took Rory to soccer and when they came home I asked that all of us mosey over to Starbucks so that I could get a cup of tea. This turned into melted chocolate-covered graham crackers all over faces and swimming in a fountain that is not at all for swimming. I’m pretty sure that at some point on this day I took a long-deserved nap and then we went to look at model homes in our neighborhood, dreaming of the day we build. Rory and Emily ran all over a $3,000 sectional sofa in a million dollar model home screaming, “Choo-choo! Choo-choo!” I’ve learned to turn a blind eye but just realized that probably other people aren’t.
On Sunday we woke up and headed to breakfast at Udi’s where Rory euphorically screamed, “Daddy! They have catchup in here!” as we walked in. The kids shared a glass of fresh-squeezed OJ and short-stack of pancakes which Rory covered in butter and syrup before insisting that he doesn’t like syrup (completely untrue) and Emily allowed me to trade their plates and she gobbled up the syrup sponges.
I took Rory to drum lessons and put Emily down for a four-hour nap when I got home. She finally woke in the late afternoon and we headed out to the park with two frisbees and a kickball. Rory wanted to go back to the fountain which was now swarming with kids (the pools don’t open here for a few more weeks) and we obliged, which resulted in me driving back home to get a swimsuit and towel for him. These children aged 2 to 12 are climbing seven feet of stacked stone with water pouring out of the top and yet somehow not one has ever fallen and cracked their head open. I could hardly watch; I was a nervous wreck. The water was frigid and luckily Emily wouldn’t go near it so I only had to worry about the impending death of one of my kids.
Finally we coerced Rory into putting on a shirt and headed to the park to play. My crazy child walks right up to a group of 5 year old girls that he has never met, smiles, and says, “Hey, do you want to play that game where you chase me?” And he takes off running and all of the girls give chase. How does he get kids to do these things?
His soccer skills blow my mind. He is such a natural dribbler. His Saturday soccer class is kind of a joke but the class he’s taking in preschool once a week is teaching him some serious technique. Other people in the park even comment on “that little soccer player” as he races by, totally in control of the ball. I know I’m biased but I’m pretty sure I have the coolest kid in the whole world.
When the sun was setting we walked over to our favorite pizza place and entertained the kids with grated Parmesan cheese shaken out onto a soda cup lid until the pizza came out. The floor, the table, their clothes, and their faces were coated in Parmesan cheese. Emily’s nose holes were plugged with Parmesan cheese. We all sat in a row in a long booth, exhausted, with Andy and I passing a bottle of house red back and forth between us trying to encourage them to slow down with their eating. The poor kids were starving; they’d only dined at restaurants four times in the past 48 hours.
We survived. We are officially the kind of parents who take their kids out in public, for better or worse. It was the best Mother’s Day ever.