Scavenger Hunt



I struggle sometimes, in the mornings.  I am learning to let go of the fact that long-gone are the days where I can enjoy my cup of coffee undisturbed.  Not even having to talk. I’ve even realized that I really never do finish a cup of coffee anyway, I always add more to keep it warm...so it’s a silly hang-up to have. But it’s something that I’ve tried to get better at: matching the energy and thrill for life that the girls have in the morning hours.  Well, and if we are going to be honest, there are some sub-par days I’ve just accepted my weakness...I earned the A.M. nickname Bear for legit reasons.  


But on the Friday after Thanksgiving, I thought I would try to do something a little different.  Rich was going on a ride with Gary, so I thought I would put a little scavenger hunt together for the girls and take pics of them as they did it.  For the purpose of getting outside, appreciating our environment, our surroundings, nature.  


I was still a little crabby trying to get through the routine of breakfast, girls bickering, which cartoon to watch, never mind turning the TV off, unnecessary wardrobe change #2 for May, Boo still in a diaper doesn’t want to change into underwear but doesn’t want my help either, these shoes, no those shoes, Maycee’s relentless questioning of what we are getting ready for while Hadley is whining that she can’t get her shoes on...you know, the usual.


I think I even yelled into the corner of 2 walls.  No.  I DID yell in the corner of 2 walls.  Someone once said that if you yell at something, then you aren’t really yelling at your kids.  I think they recommended yelling into the cupboards; I tried the corner of two walls.  Not sure it helped.  Maycee asked why I was doing that thing like a 2 year old does.  So I guess then, we could say that it didn’t work at all, except to bring me to a level younger than her younger sister.  


I opened my mouth to say, 

“Okay...here’s what we are going    --   [ interrupted]  --  "



My older daughters voice, persistent as it has come to be heard, said, “I know, Mom, I know!”.  And while I was debating whether to get frustrated with her interrupting me and give her a lesson, again, on waiting her turn to speak, she, relentless in my silence, continued on with her idea of what we should do that morning...even though, remember, I already had something planned...


“I have and idea, Mom.  Why don’t we all take a deep breath, like this 

(deep calm animated breath in -- even more animated breath out), 

and then we will all feel better”. 


Damn.  She is brilliant sometimes.  And I was brilliant the moment I decided to teach her that technique of calming down.  Not so brilliant for choosing not to implement the technique like the 2+32 year old that I am, the one previously yelling at the corner of 2 walls, with watchful eyes and ears on me.  


So all three of us, in unison, took a deep breath in, exhaled, and smiled at each other.  It was the perfect thing, just what I needed.  My morning was complete in those 5 seconds...it didn’t matter if I finished my cup of coffee, nor how well the next 40 minutes went; it didn’t matter if my idea turned out to be fun.  I learned my lesson, a bigger lesson, from my usually relentless and often wise 4 year old.  She took me to school.


They found the items pretty easily...and then we added some bonus items, things that we thought were unique finds.  Maycee took charge (surprised?) and Hadz kept her hoodie on wondering what the big deal was.  


 © Houseman 2013