Recently I decided to take my little brothers on what we called a Grand Adventure. I got the name from Walt Disney's Winnie the Pooh's Grand Adventure movie when they leave the hundred acre wood to find Christopher Robbin whom they believe to be in danger. We were home alone and incredibly bored when I decided that we needed to go for a walk instead of staying home and watching movies. So I left a note for my brother Jacob, who was at work, and we left. We (my brothers Nathan and Tyler) first went to the park that is behind the elementary school by our house. We played around on the playground for a while, laughing and screaming the whole time. Eventually the boys decided that they wanted to try out the playground that was at the park. I grabbed their hands and we started out for park.
Once we got there, to our dismay we found it to be occupied by several families worth of children. Nathan was fine with going to play anyway but Tyler didn't want to. He looked up at me and I could see his disappointment and shyness. He hadn't expected there to be other children when he suggested we come to the park. I asked him if he was shy and didn't want to play with the other children. He nodded his head. After talking for a while we eventually settled on going back to the other play ground. I couldn't believe how much that little experience meant to me. I knew exactly what he was feeling. Ironically, I had the same reaction when we got to the park. I have always been so shy, but I was prepared to just push it aside for my little brothers. It made me love them all the more to see their little personalities coming out.
On the way back to the other park we found a baby grasshopper hopping across the street. I picked the grasshopper up, which I would never have done had I been younger. I always was afraid they would eat me. Another story made up by my comrades in Elementary school. We named the grasshopper Tim and carried him all the way to the other park. He stayed with us while we played until eventually he hopped away and disappeared in the wood chips. We tried to look for him, but eventually gave up. "He's good at hiding," Nathan commented.
The boys were getting bored with the playground, but I could tell that they didn't want to leave. When I was younger, being the oldest, I was always the one that made up all of our adventures. I gave them all names, rules, and a purpose. Whether it be Lava Monster, Alligator, or Zombies. I had games for every occasion and burst of boredom. I reverted back to my childhood and created a game. My game I named The Wood Chip Monster. Original I know, but it worked. Basically I named different places on the playground such things as the Sausage Web, Turtle Shells, and The Tower. I stood at the highest point on the playground and called out the names of the places. From the time that I called out the name the boys had about ten seconds or more depending on how long it took Nathan's little legs to reach the said destination before they were devoured by the Wood Chip Monster. It was amazing how much I enjoyed myself. I loved being a little kid!
After a while I noticed how pink Nathan's boyish cheeks were and decided it was time to sit in the shade. We went down underneath one of the slides and began to bury each other in the wood chips, turning ourselves into Wood Chip Men temporarily before we burst out again. As you can probably guess we were filthy and sweaty, but we were smiling and laughing as well. After a while we got bored with that and we decided to walk again. We walked down one of the streets near our house and found that one of the houses had a row of beautiful roses along the sidewalk. Tyler stopped and started smelling the roses so Nathan and I followed suit. Soon we were grading them and came up with the champions who were awarded Best Smelling Roses and Prettiest Roses. We found a lot of trees down that street as well, and the boys asked me to get leaves from every tree for them... so I did. By the end of our adventure their little hands were gripped tightly around a bundle of various quaking aspen, oak, and other sorts of tree leaves.
At the end of the street we found an enclosure with a mare and her almost grown up baby in it. When we walked up to the fence the baby trotted over to us. It wasn't long before mama came up and pushed her baby behind her and came to investigate. When she decided we weren't a threat she continued grazing but she stayed right by her baby. The baby horse was very friendly and stuck her head over the fence to say hi. I showed the boys how to pet the horse without scaring her and Nathan came right up to pet her. Tyler, who has always been a little wary of large animals, took a little bit more persuading but eventually he began petting the horse as well. They were so cute!
After a while the we decided we'd better head home. I had my phone with me and when I looked at it I realized we had been gone for two and a half hours! We headed back home. Along the way Nathan and Tyler told me that we would have to go on a Grand Adventure again another day. I smiled and promised that we would. When we got home I made the boys drink a lot of water before I turned them loose. Soon both of them were fast asleep on the couch in the living room. I felt like doing the same. It made me wonder if maybe my life as a mother would maybe be similar to my experience that day. If it was going to be like even a fraction of that day I decided I would go through anything to get to have that. I was amazed by how much I missed being a kid. I had a really good childhood. Sure it wasn't perfect, but if I can get a glimpse of that simplicity and joy again by being a mother then I know what I'm doing with my life. (Not to mention being a teacher. :) It reminded me of the song called "Return to Pooh Corner" by Kenny Loggins.
"Christopher Robin and I walked along
Under branches lit up by the moon
Posing our questions to Owl and Eeyore
As our days disappeared all too soon
But I've wandered much further today than I should
And I can't seem to find my way back to the Wood
So help me if you can
I've got to get back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
You'd be surprised
There's so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of
Christopher Robin and Pooh
Winnie the Pooh doesn't know what to do
Got a honey jar stuck on his nose
He came to me asking help and advice
From here no one knows where he goes
So I sent him to ask of the Owl if he's there
How to loosen a jar from the nose of a bear
It's hard to explain how a few precious things
Seem to follow throughout all our lives
After all's said and done I was watching my son
Sleeping there with my bear by his side
So I tucked him in, I kissed him and as I was going
I swear that the old bear whispered 'Boy welcome home'"
Anyway, that's my Grand Adventure. I know that I will never forget that day, and I'm sure that they won't either. Maybe it will be their memory of their big sister. Maybe they won't see me as a sister who was gone at work and school all the time and who didn't have time to play with them. I sure hope not. I was definitely glad to be welcomed home.