There must have been some magic in the really sweet and encouraging messages I received after my last post, because yesterday, I felt like superwoman. (Thanks, guys!) I looked around the breakfast table at four little faces eating cereal and in under a minute dreamed up an adventure plan for the day. Before I had time to let doubt set in, I mentally made sure I had a quick snack idea, a safety plan, and a timeline: check, check, check. That settled it.
"Girls, I have an adventure idea. Let's ride the city bus, go to Parliament to see Daddy and the changing of the guard, ride the bus back to the mall, get candy at Sugar Mountain and come home for lunch!" Note: it was also upwards of 30 degrees, and already 9:30 a.m.
"Yeah!" they chorused. The younger three call out bus sightings when we drive and walk around, but had never actually ridden one. It was time! They ride for free! Yay!
They were like kids on acid, fascinated by the 'sparkly floors,' handles, lack of seat belt, and assembly of strangers surrounding them. Summer tried exposing my breasts, Abby loudly asked why that man had only one tooth, and at one point I listened to a guy's life story, told directly to me even though I made no eye contact or commitment to listen. Ah, the city bus.
I packed our supplies in a backpack (camera, wipes, diaper, 2 apples and 2 packs of cranberry-almond crackers, a water bottle, my wallet and car keys). I brought an umbrella stroller, so that when we arrived downtown, there would be no scene of scattering Niman girls: Summer sat in the stroller, each twin held a handle, and Abby walked beside me.
It was actually fun! We arrived downtown, had snacks and water, found Daddy on the Hill, watched a bit of the changing of the guard while chasing seagulls on the front lawn of Parliament, watched the soldiers parade out, and then back to the bus stop for round two.
The wait got sweaty, and our bus passed us by. We finished our apples and still no second bus. Some colourful bus stop crazies sang to my girls, while another called out random bible passages. Things got gritty. Then the bus came, we sweat some more, and, thankfully, the novelty of a bus ride carried us the whole 20-minute ride back to our area of town. With a pack of sweaty, tired and beginning to get cranky kids, I could either honour my promise to take them to the candy store or face their mutiny. I chose fun.
Each girl chose one treat, and no one broke or stole anything! Abby and I chose Wonka candy, to celebrate finishing our summer novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Last night after the other girls went to bed, we settled in with our candy, watched the Gene Wilder original movie, and took a night swim in our backyard under the stars. We shared a really nice moment best left between us (to preserve the magic), and then ended the night happily exhausted.
In short, it was a good day. It was really restorative to see of what I and my four girls are capable. They really are awesome kids.