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Friday, April 01, 2011

Things That I Learned On My Way To Mall of America

When it comes to rides.... Brian has more guts than I do. Points to him for doing the crazy roller coaster with his almost grown-up kid.

That sometimes a ride isn't so much about the ride as it is about posing for the camera.

That standing around and watching someone draw a caricature of your kids only increases ones fondness for them.

That bringing a camera into a restaurant and using it while waiting for a table is wildly, unforgivingly embarrassing.

(and makes me feel really powerful....)

That I'm in the right profession.

I studied kids and parents everywhere, and although I know that it's unsophisticated to say so- My Goodness! Parents sure can be mean to their kids these days! I found myself feeling much more forgiving of my own irritability and shortcomings when I realized that I've NEVER called my child (or your child) STUPID, nor have I threatened to leave them behind in a foreign country for burning their muffin. (is it ok that I've fantasized about leaving children in foreign countries?? Please tell me that it is....) Nor have I yelled at my kid for slipping on a wet floor at a water park, or intentionally rammed the back of their ankles with my shopping cart when they weren't walking fast enough for my liking.

I practically feel like Mary Poppins.

That I'm running out of little kids of my own. And while listening to the wailing and tantruming of other people's kids made me relieved that mine were older; I felt a real sadness at the ending of an era. I've never been great with change, and I feel like I need a whole new set of skills for the upcoming ten years of parenting.

Just when I was getting a hang of the younger years.....

That IKEA has a really great chair. But that I prefer to spend my money $7.00 at a time... Over and over and over again.

Which is why I make a point of scouting out a few thrift shops wherever I am. Some of the greatest $4.99 skirts live there.

My husband also believes in the "more is more" philosophy. Which is why when he shops for green sauce at Target, the staff has to radio the guy in the Tabasco Vault to bring out the reserves.

He puts that sh*t on everything.

That maybe my church has talked up this whole IHOP movement just a lot. I didn't find it to be all that life-changing....

I learned that with a pocket full of change, you really can have it all.

On my way to Mall of America and back, I learned that "American breakfast" means all foods white, sweet, and packaged. I learned that there is an entire mall full of tiny sizes with entire families of obese people shopping in it. I learned that if you stay at a hotel whose biggest boast is: Free Internet!! it probably means that the wallpaper and the carpet don't match; the hallways aren't heated; and the early morning clientele lining up for the BLEACHED breakfast are heading out early to shoot something in a nearby wooded area.

I learned that kids grow up fast, hotel pillows don't feel like mama's pillows, and Famous Dave's makes a mean margarita. I learned that Fleet Mills Farms sells large bags of candy AND fishing licenses. They also sell nifty t-shirts that say things like: "Keep your guns in the right place-- YOUR HAND!" I learned that "all you can eat" buffet restaurants might not have been America's brightest idea. I learned that some people think that gravy goes with biscuits, and it's something you might want to eat with your morning coffee.

I learned that a road trip with my husband and my offspring was a really good idea.

And the best part of it is coming back home again.


Bonnie said...

Hey Joyce, it was great seeing you today :) I love this post and I know what you mean about raising your kids for the next 10 years. I've found that raising teenagers is really difficult and that some days, I really don't want to. I wish I could just wish them all right back into elementary, better yet, back to pre-pre school. I have great kids that stay out of trouble, but teens these days just seem hard to raise, they are so different from when i was a teen. Oh, well, life goes on and so must I:) Sounds like you had a fantastic trip, happy for you! Have a blessed day my friend.

janice said...

Hey sounds like a FABULOUS trip. I keep going on 'one last trip' with my offspring and then she accepts another invitation to travel with me! Perhaps because we are good company for each other, but more likely because I am paying for it.

You will need new parenting skills for the next ten years, but they will build heavily on the skills you already have, so you will be fine. You do trust your kids, your early childhood parenting skills, and Guardian Angels, right?

I work at a university, and when I step out of my office I see all those kids, the same age-ish as mine, and I also 'know I am in the right profession'. Not so much the profession as the context, I love. I see bunnies and students and tress when I step out, whereas I used to see suits and high rise office towers.
Great post, great trip, so happy you like coming home (me too).
And next week you get happy reunions with all your little clients!

Pennerfive said...

Do you know how much I loved this post? Let me tell you a few of the reasons why....

1. I love Micah's arm around Arianna on the roller coaster.

2. IHOP and your church? I know just of what you speak and I laughed my ass off.

3. Brian looks all manly and uber proud of himself waiting in line for the big coaster!

4. I love that same chair at IKEA. I've looked at in many times and wondered about it.

5. You look just like a teenager in that picture of the little boy all enamoured with you.

Your kids are great people. You and Brian done good! I know it.

I miss you in real life.

rob said...

Fabulous. I miss you in real life, too.

rob said...

oops. that is actually Michele. Why does that man not sign OUT?

Roo said...

sweet shirt joyce! ....and ya...the way parents talk to their kids makes me sad too. it may or may not have even made me cry while shopping at superstore in the past.

ain't tellin