Centennial Park

When Megan and Gavin got off the school bus and Jasmine wasn’t with them, I called Kathy to check, and she was home sick. Since we didn’t have plans and Kathy wouldn’t be stopping by to pick up Jasmine, I decided to take my little brood on an adventure.

We hadn’t been to the children’s museum in a while so we headed to midtown. We left home at 3:25 and walked in the museum at 3:40. When I handed the cashier my membership card, she said, “Um, you do know the museum closes at 4, right?”

“Uh, no, I guess I didn’t.” I said. Really? Four?

“Do you still want to go in?” she asked.

“Sure, it’s free. We’ll play for 20 minutes.”

So we did.

At 4 p.m. we left, and there were no complaints because I promised the kids I’d take them across the street to Centennial Olympic Park. Everything was wet and the wind was gusty, but the sun was out and the temperature was at least in the high 60s. I was wearing a very thin sweater and was comfortable. Gavin changed into a T-shirt before we left and refused to wear his new, red waffle henley, even for pictures.

We played on the playground and then ran around the park. And boy, did they run.

At one point I tried to take a picture of all three kids on some steps. This was the best shot:

I was feeling like super mom. Here we were, partaking of the city, the weather, and reveling in our spontaneity and free-spiritedness.

Of course, pride cometh before the fall. On the way back to the car, I had to yell at Gavin for getting too close to the street and threatening his sister with large chunks of asphalt. I had to yell at Megan for continuing to play in piles of leaves that contained homeless-people litter (nothing against homeless people, just their trash). Ben’s fingers were turning purple as he strained to wriggle away from me. When I did let go of his hand, if only to let the circulation return, he immediately fell (lightly) on his forehead.

We made it to the car. There was a boot on it. I called the number on the sticker on my window. The guy arrived within one minute. I think he was waiting for me. I had been in the mostly-empty lot for less than one hour. It was $3 to park for 24 hours. You have to stick cash in a little slot. I had $21. A twenty and a one. I stuck the one in the slot and broke the twenty at the museum. I tried to reason with the guy. It was pathetic. I gambled and lost and felt so, so stupid and horrible.

On the way home, Gavin complained that he was bored and hungry. I threw my supermom badge out the window in the carpool lane of I-75.

We had grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner and everyone went to bed surprisingly well and in good spirits.


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