I went to Funtown last week.
Well, I picked up the kids after their nap from school at about 3 p.m., after I'd spent the whole day there... so not totally a mean mama!
But I spent the day at an amusement park sans kids, with my teenage and college age siblings.
It was the BEST day I've had in a very long time.
I'm not even kidding... the BEST time in the world was had by ME - 33 years old - playing, jumping, running, screeching with delight, getting soaked, riding down the water slides in this pirate's cove for KIDS! My 18 year old brother and 20 year old boyfriend to my 21 year old sister and I had a BLAST in here.
I was riding down the slides, eyes open, smile bigger than ever, and just feeling so content, happy, excited, joyful. JUST like a child.
When is the last time you REALLY felt that - but alone? Like as in for yourself? It's awesome to feel happy and joy and see things through your children's eyes as they experience it... but when is the last time YOU experienced those things yourself? I don't remember the last time I spent a day playing like I did in my youth.
It was the best!
A few highlights from visiting the amusement park...
Driving the antique cars... solo.
Riding the go karts - clearly, a MUST!
Bumper cars... that was hilarious! I work in a school and ended up with three of my former students bumping into me - literally - on the bumper cars. Too much fun, you could hear me screeching a mile away!
Not really sure what we're doing here, see, hear, speak no evil I guess, it's random and makes no sense after getting soaked on the log flume... but hey, when you're young, making no sense is a MUST!
It was fantastic to do this whole "day at the amusement kiddie park" alone thing, without the kids around, without having to stop to take one to the potty or wipe one's nose or dress another or do what they want to do. It was me picking the slides. Me going solo without someone's fingers wrapped around my neck. Boy, do I love that with the kids, and it's awesome and has its place, but this was all about hanging out by myself and doing something child-like.
Of course I love my kids and spending time with them makes me also feel like a child, especially when we don't go around the mud puddles but through them, and when we get ice cream dripping down our cones and we lick it instead of get a napkin. I LOVE those moments, we're so grateful to have those moments with our kids.
But I realized last week that it's important for US, too, to remember what it felt like to be YOUNG and CAREFREE again. It's OK to be US, individuals, girls rather than "the woman of the household" or "M-O-M Mom" sometimes. It's good actually.
It made me loosen up, feel relaxed and invigorated. It made me want to go share that feeling with the kids, so that's why I left early and picked them up to surprise them with a trip to the amusement park.
Being a fun mom is one of my top priorities, helping my kids see the wonder in the simple things in life, and enjoying every moment as best we can.
It's silly to me that I never realized I personally should go find that wonder and experience it myself first so I then can really show my kids the way of the world.
HAVE FUN, moms. Be silly. Giggle like you haven't done in a long time, like you did when you were being tickled when you were younger. Say stupid things, tell dumb jokes, eat cheesy fries and wipe the grease on your shorts just because. Hang out and pretend you're young again. It's the best thing in the world to realize you aren't that old. You still have so much life in you yet!