Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Never Leave Home Without Food

We were thrilled to find out that there is a very active homeschooling community at our new duty station. Every month there are new activities and events to try out, and some regular events. Like P.E. Every other week, our homeschool group gets together at a large park for P.E. The first time we went, it was a soccer-themed event. Both Alex and Spain stayed involved and active the entire time, learning new drills and games. Afterwards we spent spent half an hour at the playground, riding the high of getting to interact with other people in our age groups.
What can I say? I like hanging out with adults sometimes.

After bouts of the plague and a slightly traumatizing car accident, we finally made it back to P.E.
I woke up early. Made sure the boys ate breakfast, had water bottles and hats. I even managed to grab a travel cup of coffee to bring along. Everything was seamless. I was a rockstar. At one point I thought I heard a heavenly chorus harmonizing in the background. We were golden.

This week's class seemed to be geared more towards older children, with dodge ball and tug-of-war as main events. But, separate activities had been planned for the younger crowd. Alex took off with the older class, and I shadowed Spain. Spain's group was everyone younger than nine, the older ones weren't thrilled to be playing with the little ones, and the little ones… They just wanted to run in circles. Everyone powered through until the halfway mark. The groups were restructured again, and Spain's new group activity was "tea party".

This is where the ominous music started playing.

I hadn't thought to bring a snack. Last time we had been so busy playing that snacks never came up. Spain sat on the communal picnic blanket as the children around him started snacking on cookies and pumpkin bread, looking at me with big sad eyes. "Mama. I'm hungry. I want a snack" he said in his sweet little voice. My heart shattered.
"I'm sorry Sweetie, I didn't bring any snacks." He shook his head, slowly turned so that his back was to the other kids and sat, looking sadly at his lap.

Mommy guilt consumed me.

As the other children finished their snacks and started leaving the communal picnic blanket, Spain perked up as an idea occurred to him. He ran to the diaper bag I had left under and tree and started rummaging through it. "What are you doing?" I asked. "Getting a snack." he responded cheerfully.
Cue more Mommy Guilt. Normally I do have snacks in the diaper bag AND in the van, but I had forgotten to replenish the stash, and Spain eaten the last snack bar the previous week. As the ugly truth became apparent, Spain needed to vent his frustration. He clenched his little fists together and growled at the tree we were sitting next to.
I bent down to face him "I'm sorry I didn't bring any snacks sweetie. When we're all done here we can go find something okay?" He looked at me with the bitter betrayal only a tortured three year old could truly understand. Just as I thought all was lost, a WONDERFUL woman, feeding her son dried mangos, held out the bag and asked Spain "would you like a mango?"
Spain sided up to Angel Mother and helped himself to some mangos. I thanked her. Profusely.

Sweet, sweet angel mama.

I'm just taking a moment to appreciate her.

Yeah, the second we let the park, we hit Costco up. I told the boys to pick car snacks, and I grabbed a giant box of ice cream bars for them. For home. Not the car. Mommy guilt is a powerful powerful force.