A warm breeze whispered through my hair as I entered the park under the might of tall pines. I felt the day’s stresses begin to float away as I listened to the birds sing a song of a summer day. A butterfly pond peeked from around the bend; the glistening water calling to me. “Mama! Mama! I took off my shoe!” Wait. What? I looked down at my 2 ½ year old toddler (enter big bro Luke) who had decided to stop following my lead and sit right in a moist patch of earth. Lovely. “Back to reality, oh there goes gravity, oh, there goes Rabbit, he…” Those Eminem lyrics come to mind every time I think about reality, woken from a peaceful interlude.
So here we are. Today’s outing has found us picnicking a hop, skip and a jump from historic downtown Summerville. This has already been one of those days; isn’t it funny how when you wake up you can’t see which days are going to turn out to be “one of those?” But it was. My husband has been on a business trip for the last four days and I think my boys are feeling it. Our morning consisted of me pulling my 17-month-old (enter Zealand, or ZZ as his brother nicknamed him) down from the dining room table, pulling my 2 ½ year old off of his younger brother, while trying to clean my home to some degree of acceptability. I had held out for naptime, envisioning a nap for myself or getting some writing done. However, yesterday I brilliantly decided to buy my youngest a toddler bed, to compliment his brother’s big boy bed in their shared room; and though bedtime went off without a hitch last night, naptime is looking like a different story. They weren’t having it. I had to get them outside! I had to get outside.
So I packed up some graham crackers, ripe strawberry slices and plenty of agua to sustain us on our adventure. Off we went. Azalea Park has been on my “to go to” list for a while now, so I decided to give it a shot. Hydrated and rejuvenated from the fresh air, my two boys and I were ready to explore. At least I thought we were in those first 90 seconds of nature-bliss. After I got Luke up and walking again we made it to the butterfly pond right next to a pristine white gazebo.
After a hike over a few cute little bridges – and one very scary bridge, when you have two curious toddlers with you – we found a little girl reading a book on the edge of a garden. Sure, she was a sculpture, but don’t tell Luke that. As he is, even with the mannequins at Old Navy, he was intrigued by this lifelike form. He peeked at her book and moments later climbed up on the garden to tell her a secret. His favorite secret these days is just to say “bootie” because he thinks it’s hilarious…and people usually laugh when he tells them!
There are several benches sprinkled throughout this quaint park, a few picnic tables too. Knowing that my babes were not going to sit still for even a second, I pulled out our snacks at the center of that tree-lined path. The site I picked was far enough from the main road, that I didn’t have to worry about corralling them as is usually necessary on many of our excursions. It was a perfect spot for the boys; a field of grass surrounded us allowing for endless running and playing. And a perfect spot for mom to “relax” (is that even a word you can use when you’re responsible for two really little lives) and enjoy the abundance of flowers, remarkable mossy trees, and really, life itself.
There are always moments that we can treasure as we go through the craziness of motherhood. We just have to be sure and take them all in.
This is it ladies….real life as a mom. And I am a real mom. Nice to meet you!