89 Days of Greatness: Days 15 & 16
Days 15 and 16 of 89 Days of Greatness. Yesterday was my birthday – so incredibly great to turn 27 again – and I couldn’t post about the greatness of the day. So for the first time ever, I’m posting about two days of greatness in the same post. (Thanks for understanding, y’all.)
Yesterday, the littles all slept. past. 7. A.M. It was miraculous and beautiful. I got up and worked out – my version of morning coffee – and around the time I went downstairs after exercising, the kiddos were up and going. (Brian had already gone out to buy me beautiful birthday flowers that would be waiting for me after my workout. Total greatness.) Mariana and Brent were so upset with me for not still being in bed that you would have thought I had set fire to all their belongings: “Moooooooooooooommmmm! You weren’t supposed to get up! You were supposed to stay in bed!!!!! It’s your birthday!” (Clearly, this was more important to express than starting off with ‘Happy Birthday, Mama!’)
Some crazy, alarmist part of me decided that if they were going to serve me breakfast in bed, which I knew was their sweet and precious thought, maybe I should be the one to make the actual breakfast before I let them serve me food. That way, their belongings – and our kitchen – would not, in fact, end up on fire, and I would not, in fact, end up with ptomaine.
So as soon as I’d made the cinnamon rolls, and the sausage, and the bacon, and the hard-boiled eggs, I did as I was told and went back upstairs to my room and crawled back into bed – still wearing my workout gear and my tennis shoes! – and pretended to be asleep.
Lo and behold, moments later, Brian and the kids entered with the ‘surprise’ of breakfast in bed. So sweet. They even wrote and performed a short play for my entertainment while I ate. (The plot line was simultaneously simple and convoluted. My favorite kind because then I know they are the ones who wrote it.)
[Editor’s note: you are about to see two pictures you should not see. In both of them, I am not wearing makeup, have my hair in Official Workout Formation, and haven’t showered. My advice is to shield your eyes, or at least to look just at the kids. You have been warned.]
The moments were precious and passed too fast, just like their childhoods already have been and done. Up to this point, I’ve been the one to think up the greatness for each day in our 89 Days of Greatness summer series; maybe that’s why yesterday’s greatness stood out – because the kids thought of this breakfast-in-bed greatness on their own. Priceless.
We all got cleaned up and went to Brent’s last baseball game. His team got absolutely CLOBBERED. (If the rest of the season had gone that way, I think I’d be doing my best to convince him of the greatness of an easier sport like, say, curling.) But we had a fantastic, different kind of victory: Brent didn’t cry after the loss. That is NASA-levels of huge around our neck of the woods. Woo-hoo! So proud of that. I like winning, and I believe wholeheartedly in competition; but that personal victory for him was greater than any final game score … any day of the year.
We had a wonderful family lunch with my folks after the game and filled the afternoon with other fabulous memories …
… but everything paled in comparison to our plans last night: going to George Strait’s last touring concert ever. The littles spent the night at my folks’ house, and after we dropped them off, we paused just long enough to have Mom take a picture.
In the interest of having this post be shorter than War and Peace, I will not go into deal about the George Strait concert. I’ll just sum it up by saying it was (a) the greatest concert in the history of concerts (b) an honor to be breathing the same arena air as King George, who is, of course, the greatest singer-performer of all time (c) life-changing. (OK. That last one might be a slight exaggeration, but only slight.) It was nearly sacred. I cried. There are no words. (Thank you, Gramma and Big Daddy, for letting them spend the night so that we could be there when the planets realigned. Holy cow, was it amazing …)
Today rolled around, and Brian and the littles sweetly treated me to a birthday extension by giving me my gifts. They were generous and thoughtful, and all brought smiles. My favorites? The cards. Always the cards. (But that doesn’t mean I’m taking the gifts back. No way.)
Tomorrow starts our church’s Vacation Bible School, and the five of us went to set up everything for the chapel I lead for the two- and three-year-olds. It’s one of my favorite things to do all year, and the kids are so sweet. But sometimes the attention spans of the 2s and 3s is so short that I wonder if they even remember their own names. (Sooooo …. good luck to me teaching them about the lessons behind the story of Zaccheus and of Jairus’s daughter, etc., etc., etc. Somehow I think they’ll be spending their time figuring out how they can pet the stuffed turtle I’m taking as one of the props. But we’ll all be happy!)
A little before bed, we did today’s actual greatness activity. It’s super simple and didn’t take too long. We took three straws and fifteen Skittles. After clearing off the kitchen table, we gave each child a straw and each five Skittles. The challenge? Use the straw to blow each Skittle across the table, never touching one with your hand, and see if you can blow each one into my hands. We made it to where it wasn’t so much a competition and more a go-for-completion. We did a couple of rounds that way and then switched around so that they had to catch the rolling Skittles that Brian and I blew across with the straws.
It was silly and simple and completely successful, and I’m so glad we did it.
Now if only the VBS fairy would come put the finishing touches on what I’m teaching fifty kids in less than twelve hours. (Some dreams are simply too big.)