A Museum, a Park, a Beach, Repeat

O: Momma, are we starting the day, or ending the day, or in the middle of the day?

I love summer, or at least I used to, when I was a kid. As I trudged into adulthood it has started to mean less and less. Sure, it is warmer and it is light later into the evening, but gone is that free feeling of having nothing to do, nowhere to be. I no longer live in my swimsuit, my hair in an eternal matted pony tail. 

But here we are, at the beginning of O's second summer off from pre-school, and somehow, that tingly summer feeling is returning. This week I rolled down a hill, swam in the ocean, and ate ice cream for dinner. Our bathing suits are living on the line outside and haven't been fully dry all week. In a few days, we are going camping. We will return home, exhausted and that first post-camping bath will leave a dirt ring around the tub as satisfying as the trip itself. Summer is a time to be dirty, to roll in the sand, to eat cherries until your fingertips are stained red, to lay in the dirt on your belly and look for bugs, to lay in the grass on your back and watch the clouds. I'm ready. I suppose, if O and P want to join in, they are invited too. 

This summer, my recipe is this: a museum, a park, a beach, repeat. Every week, we are going to attempt those three things. That should leave plenty of time for cloud gazing, getting dirty, and cherry eating too. 

French Fry Party

O: Momma, my brain bone hurts.

K: Maybe you should rest when we get home.

O: No, that won’t help. The only thing that will fix my brain bone is a French Fry party.

In order to share this with you I have to confess some things first, some dark secret things about my parenting.  My kids don’t always eat organic.  I don’t personally prepare every morsel that enters their sweet tiny mouths.  They have eaten boxed mutant orange macaroni and cheese, sodium-laden canned soup, and a shade of pink not-found-in-nature bubblegum ice cream.  They have had refined sugar, GMO produce, and gluten.  We eat at restaurants.  We order take-out.  And, wait for it, we sometimes drive thru and get, gasp, fast food.  There.  I said it.  I feel better.

The reason we drive through, however, is a special one.  After an especially long day, we will on occasion have a French Fry party. The best thing about a French Fry party, other than the delicious golden crispy goodness of drive thru french fries, is the spontaneity.  We don’t plan it. We can have one regardless of the weather, the time of day, or the number of tantrums. I guess, if I’m being honest, I also like that it feels a little bad, that we have to hide that fast food bag at the bottom of the trash or make sure that none of the other preschool moms see the detritus in the car. 


This, ladies and gentlemen, is what a French Fry Party looks like

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what a French Fry Party looks like

Someone will suggest it.  We’ll all get a conspiratorial smile.  We sing the French Fry party song.  We find a drive thru.  We do have our preferences, but I’m not going to start a french fry debate here.  French Fry parties are about love.  One medium french fry, please.  I am instantly the conquering hero.  My strengths and abilities at procuring this delicious treat are lauded at top volume.  P would eat them all in the car.  O, the planner, wants to save each and every one until we reach our destination and we can really enjoy them.  I wield the power, the greasy bag riding shotgun on the seat beside me.  I love French Fry party days.  

Do you have anything you’d like to confess?

What’s your family’s version of the French Fry party?