Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When You Just Can't Stop Laughing

Because you might just keep crying! My dear children, various other family members, and possibly a few strangers, all think I've lost it. I was visiting the very charming and not all that inappropriate city of Amsterdam last week with my children, my brother-in-law and his new bride. I was honored to host them on their honeymoon to Europe and decided to take one day to travel with them. I love to travel so it was a good opportunity for me because I had help with my monkeys; seeing as how I am completely out numbered now.

Amsterdam is only a three hour car or train ride away from my home, here in little ol' Belgium. We opted for the train because city driving is not my thing. And I reserved us two rooms in a little hotel in the quiet canal district. One bag packed. No, really, only one bag. Camera and batteries. Children's blankies. Snacks. All set. Except for the dog! Which I somehow forgot I had until the day before we were leaving. Really? Quick save - a call to the vet for updated shots, a frantic rush to the military base kennel and I was just lucky enough to wrap up that problem in time for our early ride the next morning. To Amsterdam, a beautiful city just hours from us that somehow I've managed to miss until now.

And yet still I feel like I've missed the whole thing. You see the thing is, with Daddy gone the boys just don't seem to want to behave like themselves. And though I had help, and the weather was good, and I promised spoils of goodness to those who behave, and I gave lectures on gratitude, and punishments were handed out, and ALL that needed to be in place for little boys to behave was certainly thought of and put forth in great effort...Yet somehow we found little success with good behavior for the majority of our trip to the beautiful city of Amsterdam; so close and yet so very far from our home.

So, there I was laughing so hard I was crying in the middle of lunch at a very "local" pub. Finley in my lap, restless and not allowing me a lunch break; Taylor glumly coming along for the ride and being the ultimate "parent" to his brother; and dear Gavin, who could not remember to remember anything, and who was also playing in (yes IN) his soda! And here I am laughing as I write this right now, remembering how ridiculous I felt that I couldn't inspire my own children to just be good. So, I just burst out in a fit of laughter, with tears running down my cheeks. And the harder I laughed, the harder I laughed. Vicious cycle. And wouldn't you know, it all seemed to work out ok after that. As long as I put it in perspective; Beautiful, charming oh-so-close Amsterdam will be there another day, but I only have this moment with my little boys once. And the little moments are what count...

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