BY KIMBERLY JENSEN
It was one of those trying days, where you “try” too much to make your kids have fun. I never thought there would come a day where I would have to drag my kids out of the house and force them into outdoor fun. Being outside in the sunshine and breathing fresh air is essential to my survival. I need it, crave it and must have it. My children, two of who are teenagers would rather sleep until 11am and then lounge on the couch for the better part of the day. One short year ago, they were waiting at the front door for me with their swimsuits on or their water bottles filled and ready for a bike ride. Today, I am dragging them out of bed.
So today I forced them to go to the splash park with their younger brother for a full 90 minutes, with promises of dropping them off at the movie theatre or the mall after attending their brother’s social gathering.
A few moms from my son’s special education classroom have been gathering for about three months now and holding social outings for our kids, who rarely (if ever) get invited out.
We arrived at the splash park and my two older children immediately plopped down in the shade and made sure everyone knew how completely bored they were. Bennett, being autistic, moved as far away from the other children as possible and then stood in the shade and recited cartoons and a list of movies he would like to see, in order.
I chatted with the other moms and watched their children splash through the fountains and falling water. Mine continued to stay in the shade. Exactly 90 minutes later, my older kids reminded me of my promise and so we packed up, said our goodbyes and headed to the mall.
As I drove home from the mall with Bennett in the back seat, reciting for the thousandth time the movies he wanted to see, in order. I took a deep breath and thought how trying my day had been. Trying to make my kids have fun, trying to give them new experiences, trying to expose them to new and different people, trying to make them smile, trying to keep myself sane, trying, trying trying.
So I went home and did what good writers do, I looked up trying in the dictionary. Trying: causing annoyance, exasperating. I think my kids would agree that I am trying too hard.
Then I scanned up a line or two and saw the word try; to test the result of effect by experiment; to test; to make an effort.
Tomorrow, I will wake up and continue to annoy my kids.