Some days you have to throw out your plans and just go with the flow. Today was one of those days.
I had planned for the kids and I to attend a monthly social put on by my home birth midwife. We’ve yet to go to one because they are held the exact same time as our local AP meeting each month. However, I figured we’d skip the AP meeting this once and go catch up with my midwife, who I haven’t had much of a chance to chat with at all since 7 months ago when Julian was born.
However, after being awake for only 30 minutes this morning, both kids were in tears, Ava was melting down repeatedly and, as much as I wanted to see my midwife, I didn’t think a social event would be in anyone’s best interest – us or anyone in attendance. So we didn’t go.
Still, I felt we needed to get out of the house and break up the funk that already had a hold on our day. I decided we’d take a long drive up into the mountains. Julian could get a good nap in, and Ava and I could get out of the house – something we surely needed. Between working on my new CafePress store and the API auction lately, I really felt I needed a break from reality.
We took the long, scenic drive up to Estes Park. Julian slept most of the way. Ava and I admired the mountains and trees. I remembered why I used to enjoy hiking so much pre-Ava. We really need to start doing that again and getting back out into nature. I miss it.
By the time we got into Estes Park, we were all getting a little hungry for lunch. We stopped at a cafe and I asked if we could order some sandwiches to go. The woman who worked there said there would be quite a wait since there was a big order ahead of us, and told me about another sandwich place, Shakes Alive, nearby. We headed over there and got a couple of sandwiches for Ava and me and a strawberry smoothie to share. Then we drove to the visitor center, got out our blanket and took our meal to our favorite picnic spot in Estes Park, by the Big Thompson River, for a picnic lunch.
The chipmunks watched us intently as we ate our food, and we watched them, making sure they didn’t get too close. I nursed Julian to the sound of the rushing river. (There’s something about nursing outside that feels so natural and earthy to me. I love it.) Tourists walked leisurely about. Ava waved at some teenage girls having lunch nearby, and they waved back. It was a calm, relaxing afternoon.
After we were done eating and were just finishing up our smoothie, the clouds let lose and it started raining on us. At first it was just a nice, gentle rain, but then it picked up and I decided to move us under a picnic shelter about 15 feet away. I held Julian at a picnic table, watching and smelling the rain, while Ava danced in it. It was one of those moments where I wished time could stand still. I haven’t been having a lot of those moments lately. Maybe because I’m trying to do too many things and not having enough time to do any of them well. It was a much-needed reminder that sometimes it’s OK, and even GOOD, to slow down and just let things happen and enjoy the moment.
After the rain let up, we took a little walk, then the rain clouds threatened again so we called it an afternoon and headed back to the car. I’d like to say we got home and all laid down for a nice nap (I sure needed one) to complete our relaxing day, but that didn’t happen. ;) However, I enjoyed the time with the kids, just being out together and in the beauty of Colorado.