Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2 day pass

i enjoyed pockets of downtime this weekend.
it was deliberate and necessary.
also restorative.
believe it or not i watched plenty of little league on espn.
ted behaved like a typical teenager -
he was home long enough to sleep and eat.
and then only some of the time.
he's at that stage in his life where friends are paramount.
lily carried on like a typical tween -
she spent time (lots) choosing just the right notebooks and folders,
she attended a fast pitch camp and a birthday party.

when she came home from her celebration saturday eve, we declared a pizza and movie night.
homerun and big eyes on the menu.
the boys attended the brewer's game that night, and were honored on the field for their efforts.

sunday we were up what felt like before the rooster crows for our annual visit to the state fair.
we started this tradition with lily and e. several years ago.
lily's been looking forward to it all summer.
so even though the temps were to hit 90 and it was also irish fest weekend,
a tradition is a tradition...a promise a promise.
we headed to the fair lathered in sunscreen, and drank lots of lemonade and water while we were there.
this year the girls were all about the rides.
genesis was their favorite.
the wrist bands were a definite value.
they also loved the gooey cheese curds and crusty corn dogs.
and they shared a turkey leg on our way to the car.
(this fact is why i think these are the best girls ever!)

we were wilted after 7 1/2 hours of tropical temps, but the girls were not ready for the day to end.
they came home to try out their awesome new bubble wands.
(they better be awesome at $22 a crack!)
what can i say?
the expo center was air conditioned and we were a captive audience.
i did not, however, pop for the $200 flat iron that transformed lily's nest into silky locks.

this weekend was about permission and submission.
i flat out refused to feel guilty about relaxing.
i refused to ruminate on the 101 other things i could or should be doing.
i submitted to what i needed in the moment, the hour, the day.
i also refused to feel weary over missing my favorite mass of the year.
in the past, i probably would've planned on attending mass at irish fest in the morning,
and then state fair in the afternoon.
i'm not saying i would have pulled it off, but i would've tried.
and then i would have felt like a failure, a wimp, or a cop out when i didn't make it.
in the past, i would've set myself up for failure.
instead i went into the day realistically, and gave myself permission to take a year off.
i missed it, but it didn't bring me down.
i made a decision and i felt good about it.
i owned it.
and that got me thinking about rituals and traditions and how they not only enrich our lives, but they also encroach upon our happiness at times.
they can make us feel obligated and bound and beholden.
with them come so many expectations.
expectations are tricky.
i had expectations for the fair too.
this is what we do and see and eat at the fair.
only we strayed from some of the usuals.
at first, i felt myself trying to force the image i had of what a day at the fair looks and tastes like.
and then i submitted to let it be.
to go with the flow.
to be.here.now.
here now at the state fair on this very day in august.
not to compare it to any other real or romanticized experience.
and heat aside, it was an awesome, authentic day.