Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder

The Rained Out Game

For those of you who read my vacation blog from earlier in the week, I had promised a little story about our family’s jaunt to a Phillies pre-season baseball game. There will sadly be no pictures in this post, and you’ll read why in a sec.This is a sneak peek into my oh-so-glamorous life and tells of yet another time where my day totally didn’t turn out as planned. For you fellow Moms out there who can relate, this is for you!

Okay, I’ll start out with the background. Our family was staying at a house in Sarasota for a vacation. We are from PA and my husband and boys are big Phillies fans. The Phils do their spring training in Clearwater, so we purchased tickets to a pre-season game to watch during our trip. My kiddos have never been to a real baseball game before, so this was exciting stuff. Before the trip, my Mom had gotten all of my kids Phillies tees as an early B-Day gift (they all have spring birthdays). I also got one for myself at Target, a very cute, retro-y looking one. My honey already had one, so we were all set. I had a plan in my head of how things were going to go down. We were going to get there a bit early, get the kids some autographs from a player or two, I was going to snap some awesome pics of my crew in their Phillies get-ups, it was going to be a beautiful day out as a fam. Really, am I that disillusioned, or am I just naturally a glass-half-full gal?

We awoke that morning to some gray skies and to a “chance of light showers” forecast for later in the afternoon. I had packed everyone’s light jackets in the back of our van, anticipating that we wouldn’t need them until our ride back to PA. Everyone was dressed in their Phillies T’s, we hopped in the van and headed for Clearwater, stopping for lunch. By the time we got to the stadium we had to park somewhat far away, but the weather still looked okay, so I left our jackets and such in the vehicle. Until the whole family hoofed it to the stadium, the national anthem was playing and the first pitch was being thrown out. Oh well, I thought, we can maybe get autographs after the game. The kids were all good for maybe two or three innings max until someone needed a potty break, and of course I ended up taking 4 out of 5 with me to find the bathrooms. So, up, up, up we climbed the steps and found the restrooms. What do you know? There was a playground right near the bathrooms. How very convenient for antsy little bodies to burn off some energy! I let the kids take off while I supervised from the sidelines.

Now I have a confession to make–I saw a somewhat older parent couple also standing at the sidelines. They were wearing clear plastic ponchos and shallow me sort of made fun of them in my head. Coming down the slide was a cute little girl, also wearing a plastic poncho. Can you guess who’s child she was? That’s right, plastic poncho-wearing people’s child. They had probably packed a whole bag for their outing, complete with an extra outfit for their little darling, nutritious snacks, and of course hand-sanitizer to use after touching that germy playground equipment. Then there was my horde of children in their shorts and T’s and sandals, and me in my T, shorts, and flip-flops.

Let me tell you, I could really kick myself for making fun of poncho people, because they obviously had it together way more than me. Not even 10 minutes into the playground time, the skies absolutely let loose like no one’s business. Torrential rain, dumping right on me and the kids. Everyone sort of scattered, I have NO idea to where. All I know is that I grabbed little bodies that belonged to me and we huddled underneath the fish-shaped bridge that was part of the playset while the rain blew in almost sideways on us. Fortunately it let up after several minutes, got a bit clear, then dumped on us again. And yes, we huddled underneath the play bridge again. By this time my soaked husband and oldest son came up from the stands to check on us. After conceding that no, it probably wasn’t going to get any better, we made our soggy, bedraggled way out to the parking area, he and I each carrying a twin. Thankfully we did have beach towels in the back of the van! Everyone got a towel to dry off and wrap around themselves on the way back to the house.

Did my little ideal notions turn out as expected? NO way! Heck, I didn’t even get to snap a single picture like I had planned. But you know what? The kids didn’t complain a bit about how things turned out. They even thought it was kind of fun to run in the rain back to our vehicle. You want to know what else? I had a humbling conviction for kind of judging those parents in their plastic ponchos. How many times have I judged others quite flippantly, only to have it come back to haunt me? Also, I had a little reminder about my preparedness (or non-preparedness) as a parent. Sure, I was an extremely prepared Mama when I had one child. I’m sure if we had taken our firstborn to the game when it was just him, he wouldv’e been wearing a rain jacket. Slowly, slowly you let some things slide as the years progress and more children come along. In some ways I am much more organized now that I have a whole brood to manage. Obviously in others, not so much. You really don’t want to hear about the blow-out diaper debacle in Bonanza that happened several years ago! Let’s just say one of my twins has a total blackmail picture of something he ended up wearing because Mommy didn’t pack an extra outfit.(Hey, at least I had an extra diaper along!)

How about you? Has there ever been a time you were not prepared for something while out and about with your kids? Feel free to share!

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