Saturday was an ordinary day.
The last day of our spring break was not spent at the beach or Walt Disney World; it was merely spent doing usual activities.
The morning started out like most Saturdays. Sleepy children were quietly playing on the computer and watching TV while I tried to sneak a few extra minutes of sleep. The quietness did not last very long as boredom quickly ensued, so did the arguments.
Knowing that bored children equal fighting children, I hollered out to everyone to get their shoes on. We were going out!
We all loaded up in the mini-van and went off to the library and returned a book that was due (Friday! I hope the automatic renewal went through, or I owe the city another $0.15).
As “Evermore” from Beauty and the Beast sweetly played through the audio, we drove on to our next destination. As a former pianist, I still love listening to music. My children all have their favorites and playlists created on iTunes, but Momma controls what we listen to while traveling. Romantic tunes get priority.
The flashes of gorgeous spring dresses in colorful pinks, bright blues, lace, and ribbons catch my daughters’ eyes. They love everything they see! Unicorn headbands, gold jewelry, sweet new candles, and fancy shoes all encapsulate their senses. The sales are only dimmed by the puppy-like expressions on my daughter’s faces.
I keep my crew walking, and politely said “No thank you” to the ever-so-helpful employees who would have loved to assist me in spending more money than I wanted.
Store after brightly lit store we walked by. My boys were getting a little bit impatient seeing their sisters get all the time inside of their favorite locations…until we reached Game Stop.
I understand now why it’s called Game Stop. Because my sons always stop there. Time stops too. Remembering that they are not allowed to buy any more electronic games for a few more months (since they recently got 2 for the computer) well, that memory has stopped as well.
A few gentle reminders of “No” and we were off to the shoe store. My oldest son had asked if he could get new shoes since his current pair was getting very worn out. I agreed and encouraged him to look around. The first store, and the second one, quickly made him realize that buying new tennis shoes was not a cheap buy. Price tags of 59.99 and 69.99 quickly filled his eyes.
Who knew the easiest way to get your child to stop spending their hard-earned savings was having them buy their shoes? #parentingwin
By this time, my husband and I were both ready for not chasing four children around the mall, and we headed for the van. The total cost of that trip? $1.25
*sigh* Bubble-gum machines are hazardous to my willpower. After being strong and not buying brand new dresses and shoes, it’s hard to say no to a little piece of gum.
As the clock turns to 11:30 am, my children are starving, so off we head to Chick-fil-A. Quick and easy, everybody gets their favorite. 11 sauce packets later, a few pounds of chicken, and some delicious sweet tea we are filled.
One last stop at Walmart.
Now I know some people have a strong aversion to Walmart. But I am not one of those. Yes, I make sure I don’t wear my pajamas there. I’m not one of those shoppers.
To me, Walmart is like a second home. I know where things are. Do you need a small can of soup? It’s on Aisle 6…left side, the first third of the row. Don’t go past the ramen noodles or you’ve gone too far. But I digress.
My children are learning the same lessons. They know where the items are that they are wanting, and quickly walk over to the shoe department while I’m across the aisle looking for work pants. The shoes here are much more affordable and perfect for boys who will wear them out before Christmas.
“No,” I tell one son, “Your feet aren’t ready for a size 12, get the 11.” When did this 5lb 4oz tiny baby grow up so fast that he needs really big adult shoes? I could have sworn that was just a few years ago.
Neon orange and green for the older. Royal blue for the second. It is quick, painless, and smooth.
Over we head to household goods section to buy spoons.
My family has a serious problem with spoons.
We can’t keep them.
No seriously. Less than one year ago, I bought 16 tablespoons. Now I have 4 in my kitchen (and we just ran the dishwasher). I fear that if we ever decide to move, we will be overloaded with 75 spoons. Secretly, I think they’re all hiding in the crevices of the downstairs couch. But I do not want to dig too deeply into that ancient piece of furniture.
So until they magically reappear, I will keep buying them, because it’s getting ridiculous trying to eat ice-cream and soup on the same day.
A few more little items picked up, and off we head to the checkout area. I quickly poll the children, “What items have we forgotten?”
I have been known to forget an item once or twice in the past, but before anyone starts to complain. I challenge you to wrangle four children through a large mall, eating out, and Walmart and see how your memory is doing.
Trash bags are remembered by the second child, and my husband runs off to get those while I begin to check out. And suddenly our day’s outing has come to an end.
I once watched a Hallmark movie a few years ago. Usually, I’m not a fan of Hallmark movies, I traditionally lean towards Blockbuster style and some handsome men like Chris Hemsworth and *happy sigh* Chris Pine. But I digress, again.
The movie was called The Magic of Ordinary Days. The title has stuck with me throughout the years. I find it so easy to put all my excitement into vacations or special events. But what about just an ordinary day, like today?
Did anything magical happen?
On the outside, not really.
We didn’t do anything facebook picture worthy. No cheesy selfies were taken at a jaw-dropping beautiful location.
But on the inside, something magical did occur. We loved being with each other. We were together doing ordinary things and having fun. We laughed. Sang along to A few simple lessons were learned. Most importantly, memories were made.
We did all of this as a family.
That is my challenge to you, my dear reader. Make every day magical. Walmart runs, and Chick-fil-A can be unique if you make them. It’s a choice you have today. Thirty years from now will I remember all the fun vacations and special trips? I don’t know.
But thirty years in the future, I will revisit Walmart. Maybe I’ll meander over to the shoe aisle and think of today when my boys found their new shoes. And maybe, I will wander over to the home department and see the spoons for sale. I betcha, I’ll smile to myself wondering what in the world I’m going to do with all those spoons that were hidden in that ancient couch!!!