Saturday, April 5, 2014

3 Under 5: Spring Edition


April has arrived, and for me, that's when spring begins.  This is because our "spring" break in Indiana is usually the first week of April.

This spring break was doubly blessed for me.

One year ago, while on spring break, I sat down in my tiny backyard, basking in spring break's beauty...aka, time off from write my first draft of CINDERFELLA.  My 2nd grade class was finishing a unit on fairy tales, and they had requested I read my version of a fairy tale.  I surrendered to my muse and wrote ten pages, which I later read to my 2nd graders.  That was the beginning of a dream and a story that has since exploded.  SWORDS & CINDER is currently just under 60k words, a YA fantasy/retelling.

The second blessing was a road trip to North Carolina to see my middle sister (I have 3), who is pregnant with her first baby.  I loved it!  We drove to the beach (25 min.), unleashed the kids in their fenced-in backyard, toured a fort and aquarium, explored their church (complete with my twin girls taking turns running away from me while our hosts grabbed bread pudding for us and hubby took our son to the bathroom), and ate dinner at a delicious oceanfront restaurant (where I fed the kids a monster ice cream cake for "dinner-dessert" which arrived long before our food...which meant I spent the rest of "dinner" trying to keep the twins in their seats and interested in whatever youtube videos I could find with 9% battery power left on my phone).  We traveled by nightfall, which worked well on the way there, but resulted in showing FROZEN on our DVD player (PTL for technology) two separate times when each twin or their brother woke up cramped and crying.  In conclusion, I LOVE NORTH CAROLINA and want to move there someday...but would love it all the more if I lived next door to my sister--Kati.  Hubby and kids loved making sand castles...girls loved running free...I loved the sunrises (yes, Adelyn decided to wake up before dawn every day we were there...and refused to nap), crashing waves, balmy environment, and loved ones all around me.

But we came home to Indiana weather...just above freezing (upper 30s) with rain, wind, and occasional flakes in there somewhere.  Today, Saturday morning dawned with brisk winds and blue skies.  After hubby left for worship practice at our church (p.s. He's performing an original song this Sunday!), I strapped shoes and winter coats on the kids.  I loaded "double trouble" (twin 2yo girls--DT) in a wagon and followed my son on his tricycle.  We made it to the park.  My son took a couple swings while I chased DT up the TALL slide.  I mean tall...the tallest slide at the park...that has three different slides and two different ladders.  I was terrified Ella (my Ella Bella Cinderella) would fall backwards off the ladder...forwards off the other ladder...or trip and fly on her belly down the slide.  I was so nervous I forgot something very important.  Something that EVERY parent must check on a slide in the spring. the bottom.  There was water.  Not just two drops or a small puddle.  A colossal lake dominating the entire base of the three side-by-side slides.

Go ahead and ask me.  When did I see it?  About 1.5 sec before Adelyn crashed through it.

What was her reaction?  Nothing.  I set her down on the ground, and she stood there, legs spread wide apart, pants soaked through.

Then I realized...too late...I have TWO coming down the slide.  I turn around, ready to snatch my less adventurous daughter from the icy lake.  But I was too late.  I grabbed her out of the water (soaked through 1.5 of her pant legs).  And she screamed.  Ella's scream isn't just a cry of alarm.  It's not something that breaks your heart.  Or stirs your sympathy.  It's the call of a menacing creature of death.  We call it "the dragon scream."  Amidst her screeches, I pick her up and cradle her against me, trying to calm the dragon.  Then I grab her sister's hand and lead us back to the wagon and tricycle.

End of story?  Haha! No.  Addy yanks her hand away from mine, as we pass the swings.  I call her over.  I say goodbye.  I turn my back (peering at her over my shoulder) and load my son and Ella into the wagon.  Addy jumps up and down crying, until I turn back to her.  Then she stops and points to the swings.  I sigh.  Picking her up, I set her on the "grownup kids" swing and give her a push.  She swings back and forth.  My other kids watch from the wagon, unconcerned, waiting.  Then I hold out my arms.  She jumps off and lands it.  Then we run toward the wagon.

She tries to ride the tricycle, but her little legs are too short.  So I let her run free, while I hoist the tricycle over my shoulder and pull the wagon.  She lags behind and then races to catch us.  Runs ahead and stops for us to catch up, though she can't really outrun me.  I'm supermom!

We're almost home, so I put her on my son's lap in the wagon.  She sags back against him, and I think, "Yes!  She's going to nap today."

When we reach the front door, I announce lunch time.  No takers!  Addy runs for our neighbor's swing.  Rudy runs for our slide, begging for a little more time to play.  Ella...I'll admit it.  I wasn't ready to awaken the dragon just yet.  So I drag everyone to our tiny back yard.  Peeling back the lid of our sandbox, I reveal sand...not NC sand...Indiana mud/sand concoction.  But they take the bait.  So I drag the slide to the backyard, turn off the heat inside, open the front and back doors, and swing on my weathered and chipped wooden swing.  I think to myself, "This is the life."

North Carolina life?  No.
Spring break life?  No.
Wealthy/American Dream life?  No.
But I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Nap time.  Writing Mom out. ;)

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