Most of the time, I am alone with the kids. At home, this is doable. There is no public shaming or expectations of my parenting. I don’t have to worry about being too tough or lenient for watching eyes. The kids are caged in so I don’t have to worry about them escaping or being grabbed. I can change diapers and Brandon can go potty at anytime without frantically searching for a bathroom. They can eat food out of the pantry and drink milk out of the fridge. It’s a parent’s paradise: home.
But a lot of times, I take them on adventures. I am bringing this pain upon myself, I know, but I want my kids to remember something other than the color of our carpet. I want them to see the world around them. I encourage wanderlust and trying new things. But one of my children is sensitive, the other restless. I think these must be the two best or worst traits, depending on how they’re used.
Yesterday, I took them to a baseball game. When we left, Brandon (the sensitive one) sobbed these big tears and needed me to hold him despite the fact that I had blankets and jackets and Holden in my arm. I corralled them as best I could to the exit where an employee saw Brandon’s big ugly tears and retrieved a baseball from his pocket. The world doesn’t owe us anything, but even so, this kind man gave the ball to Brandon. Then two drunk guys walked by us in the parking lot and one said, “You got a baseball? You’re so lucky!” And I hoped Brandon would realize that one day.
Then we came home and Brandon turned sweet again and watched “Big Brother” with me then we read books together in my bed. Then, as he was about to fall asleep, he rolled towards me and looked at me with his giant brown eyes and said, “Sweet Dreams, mom.” And I fell asleep, exhausted, but dreaming of a world where people are kind and pleasant and give out baseballs to crying kids. When I woke up, I realized that is really why I take them places, despite the hassle: because the world is a beautiful place, if you choose to look at it that way. You would never know that without leaving home.