Good evening anyone and everyone who actually reads this blog! (which I'm not sure how many that is because it's impossible for me to tell. I was delighted to learn that one of my sisters reads it faithfully.) However, I am happy to have you! It's been a week since I last wrote, and I definitely didn't mean to go that long without writing, but that's just the way it works out sometimes! I even have a couple topics in mind that I've wanted to write about but just haven't. I might do a couple of posts tonight (not sure how long it'll take me and I've been feeling pretty yucky all day because I have a nasty cold so I need to go to bed soon) but we'll just see.
Over Thanksgiving weekend I went to my parents' house. This can be quite an adventure because their house is no longer big enough to fit their children, grandchildren, in-laws, everyone's pets (a total of four dogs when all my siblings bring them), so it gets a little cramped. However, we are a very close family and we love being together so much that we just overlook the cramped quarters. Anyway, my four older siblings are all married and they have multiple children. (Not that they had six babies at once or anything--they all have more than one child.) The gist of this whole paragraph is that we weren't going to be able to fit in my parents' house so we had Thanksgiving dinner at the school where my dad teaches. It worked out great because then the kids could be free to run up and down the halls, play hide and seek, go out on the playground and even do stupid things (like try to hot water from the water cooler, but then again, they're kids and kids just do dumb things sometimes). Anyway, it was great fun!
The next night we decided to go see the Christmas lights on ceremony at the next town over. I am from small town Idaho, and I would be the first to admit this was definitely a small town Idaho celebration. However, it was great fun, even though it was freezing. This brings me to the topic I want to address in this post: activities with small children.
Although I have no children of my own, being that I'm single and definitely don't believe in pre-marital sex, I have had a lot of experience of travelling, shopping, driving, vacationing, etc with small children because I've been around my older siblings a lot. Working on kid time is a lot different than adult time. They are still learning about the wonders of the world (things we boring adults find ordinary) so sometimes they dawdle or as I mentioned before, do stupid things because they don't know better or just need to try something out for themselves. Going to see the Christmas lights didn't involve the kids doing anything stupid, but it did involve walking several blocks with eight children in tow, finding a place in the town square to wait for Santa's triumphal entry on a firetruck and keeping them all warm until then.
Traffic was pretty minimal since the square was mostly closed off for the ceremony. (We wouldn't want it to be blocked because there was a tractor in the road or something. . . LOL!) But there's still the worry that comes from making sure everyone's accounted for and nobody got lost or anything. I think it helped that it was so cold because they wanted to stay close by for warmth. My oldest niece has a serious heart condition and is more fragile than the others. She couldn't handle the cold so my mom ended up taking her, my other niece (who goes anywhere she does) and one of my nephews back home again. I decided after they left that it would be wise to do a quick headcount just to make sure we hadn't lost one along the way or anything. . . which we didn't. Well, I called my mom because I didn't realize that my nephew had gone with her, but once he was accounted for, it was all good.
Anyway, I really do love being around the children, and they make things so much more interesting. I don't think it would have been nearly as fun to go see the lights turned on without having the kids with us. I mean we might have, but I just love watching their reactions and seeing them experience new things firsthand. I hope that I never stop finding wonder in this.