Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Labor Pains

There really is nothing like celebrating labor by ridding yourself of all obligations.  So this past weekend, that is exactly what we did.  Repeating last year's plans, we booked a few hotel rooms at Grand Harbor Resort (an indoor waterpark/hotel) with my sister's family and Papa in tow. 

We'd had such a great time last year, swimming all day and taking turns on the waterslides, having hotel room picnics and late night conversations that would later make no sense at all, but at the time had us in hysterics.  This year would be the same.  We were sure of it.

Things fell a bit short of perfection, as they always do.  This seems to be a running theme in my life and in my blog; my persistent effort to create magical moments and my inevitable letdown when things fall short. 

Cael and Graham, Labor Day 2012
Sometimes I think it is a defense mechanism, a parenting safety net.  My boys are smart, and they can very clearly tell when I've hit my limits.  Heck, they often see me teeter on the brink and jump at the chance to push me over.  But for some reason I feel that, if their childhoods are filled with enough glorious memories of feeding ducks and camping and train rides and bubbles and waterparks, they will be able to overlook the bad times.  They won't remember how Mommy once locked herself in the bathroom and wouldn't help fix a broken toy.  They won't recall the reason why she sometimes snapped at them without just cause, or let them watch TV in the morning even though it was against the rules. 

It doesn't work that way, and I know that.  Trying to make things perfect for them won't change their reality and frankly isn't even possible.  But until I have the confidence in myself as a mother not to lock that door, I'm still going to do my best to create new "good" to balance the "bad".

As for our trip, everyone seemed to take turns feeling under the weather.  Joel pinched a nerve in his back, nearly broke a toe, and while helping Cael up from the pool, he stood quickly and banged his skull against my face.  But despite my black eye, a fun souvenir from our vacation, we had a great time because we were together.

I may have to do some thinking before Labor Day 2014, however...

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.