The outdoors have always been a place of joy for me. I come alive when I am outside surrounded by nature. It has always brought such life and peace to my very being. This is also something I have longed to share with my children.
Wednesday I stopped by Adrienne's house after dropping the big kids off for school. I hadn't seen her in about three weeks, and it was ridiculous that it had been that long. So I stopped by, and we decided that we would go up into the mountains after the kids got home from school, because my soul longed for the only solace and peace that the mountains can provide.
Except the office ladies from the kids school called and informed me they didn't yet have Faye's vaccination records. And thus began the hoop jumping scramble of getting everything in before the next day, under the consequence of Faye not being allowed back at school until they were all in.
I called the Doctor's office, and they said they had sent them earlier when I had called and requested them. But they said they would send them again. When I picked up Faye and her friend, I ran into the office quickly to discuss with them what they had and what was needed. It turns out they did have all of her records, aside from the MMR.
And then I remembered. When I took the girls to get their shots, Beth got hers first, and then she was screaming and I was trying to comfort her while Faye received her shots. And then they told me that they were out of the MMR, and I would need to go to the health department to get Faye's shot. Only I completely forgot because Beth had been screaming and I had been mostly paying attention to helping Beth feel better so I only half heard it. Oops.
And so on Wednesday I rushed Faye to the Health Department to get her final shot.
Of course they aren't in the office on Wednesday or Thursday, so if I wanted to get her shot there, I would have to wait until Friday. I called the office to inform them of our hiccup situation and they said State law decides and Faye wouldn't be allowed to return, was there any other place I could take her that would give her the shot?
And so I called her doctor office, and they said that because the doctor hadn't put a note in her chart, they would have to call him and get permission from him to give her the MMR, but they did, in fact have it in the office.
After about two hours of waiting for them to call me back, the panic began to set in. Faye was worried because she didn't want to miss any school, and I was worried because I didn't want her to miss out on any learning, or have a grumpy girl around all day. I called the doctor back and they finally gave me permission to bring Faye in for her shots.
Except we had to get Keith from school, first. And school release time is always a nightmare.
By the time we got Faye her shots, it was 4 o'clock and far too late to go up into the mountains. So we decided to go to a lovely walkway around a pond which is in the city, but it looks completely wild and free, so we figured it would probably do the trick.
So Keith, Faye and Beth ran around playing while Adrienne and I laughed and talked, and I sniffed and breathed and let the wild smell fill my soul. Also, I have many many memories at that park, all of which are wonderful and happy and beautiful.
Keith and Avery explored the wild and Faye and Emily found a man who let them chase around his dog while the babies squealed with joy in the swings. We stayed there until the sun began to set and our tummies were grumbling with hunger.
But the magic of it all didn't happen until the next morning. Thursday morning Keith woke up and came into my room with joy shining from his eyes. "I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning, Mom!" he said.
I cannot remember the last time Keith woke up so happy! We briefly talked, and then he went off to get ready for school. While he was at school, Jeffrey and I talked on the phone and decided it was a really good thing for Keith to spend time in nature. And so, Jeffrey decided to come home from school early, and when Keith got out of school, we were going to go to a nature preserve and let the kids roam and explore, because it really has a great impact on Keith.
Which is what we did.
And the kids loved exploring and running about.
We rambled all over the place, seeing deer, playing in the trees, and the kids absolutely loved the tree house and tower at the end.
Jeffrey and I talked about maybe having a birthday bash there in a few weeks. We will have to see, but it would be lovely if we can. We played until I had to head home for a presidency meeting. And then Beth began kicking and yelling.
"NO! Stay here! No leave!"
And while the tantrumming would normally be slightly aggravating, I found it adorable and endearing. I loved the fact that she didn't want to leave, and also the fact that she is learning to voice her opinions. Jeffrey bribed her with ice cream, and she happily came along. And we saw a wild hawk circling for its prey.
We got home, and I had to leave for my meeting, so Jeffrey took over for diner. Except the food I had put in the crockpot wasn't cooked. Somehow, it had been changed from high heat to warm. The raw chicken was warm, but it wasn't cooked. And so he had to figure something else out for them all to eat.
But the best part happened Friday morning. Again, Keith woke up "on the right side of the bed!" He wasn't grumpy at all, and he was happy to go to school. It makes me so happy to see him flourishing like this, and it really gives me more of an excuse to go explore the outdoors. Even Jeffrey commented on his improved disposition.
I tell you, nature is magic!