Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Clapping My Hands Like a MoFo

"If you believe," he shouted to them, "clap your hands; don't let Tink die."
Peter Pan

I am determined that my kids, even though they are being raised by a single mom, will not miss out. It is a thought that is often on my mind. It is one reason I have worked hard to create such an amazing village that is helping raise my wonderful beasts. It is why I took them canoeing last year with a big group. But I also want us to do things as a family. Just us three. I want them to know that we are strong as three, the rest of our village just adds to our foundation. 

This weekend my beautiful boy beast turned 9 and I did something I have been longing to do for years, but have been a little afraid to do alone. I took my beasts to a cabin in the woods, and it was amazing. We left on Friday after the kids got out of school. I have to admit, I was a little nervous. The beasts and I, alone all weekend, weather calling for rain, no phone, no internet, no distractions. What am I going to do with these two small people? These small people who can suck the life out of me and who have eaten my brains.

Silly me. There was no need to worry. My kids are awesome people. They are so fun to hang out with. A fact I easily forget as I rush them off to school, or try to get them to clean their room. 

As soon as we arrived at the cabin the magic started and it carried us through the weekend. We started Friday afternoon by gathering things to build a fairy house. The cabin we were staying in was in a state park named based on a legend about fairies. The kids joyfully waded in the lake and found magic in the shells, the rocks, and the flowers around us. They laughed and delighted in everything they found. My heart opened and my loved flowed out watching them. It pooled at their feet and climbed up their little bodies. My beasts soaked that love right up and then they sent it back to me and I smiled, content.  

We needed this weekend. We get so caught up in to life that we forget each other. Especially me, the Queenpin. I am overwhelmed by school, by work, by keeping our house together. The week, prior to our trip, I had been on never ending nicotine withdraw as I stopped and started smoking again and again. I had yelled at my little beasts so much I think they thought we were on constant RED ALERT. They were probably as nervous about heading to the mountains with their crazy mama as I was about heading to the mountains with them. 

But the amazing thing is that once all those outside stressors fell away I was able to just hang out and be, and so were they, and we were able to enjoy each other. 

We built the fairy house straight away and added to it all weekend. Each morning the kids were rewarded with fairy stones left by grateful fairies. We relished the rain and would head out for a few minutes of walking and then dart back into the cabin as they sky opened up. We played games. We colored. I taught big beast how to make a fire. All weekend the magic of our love pervaded everything we did. There was very little bickering, there was very little mama madness. 

I was very conscious that the years of my beasts believing in fairies will soon come to an end and I was filled with gratitude that I had not waited another year to take this trip. The unrestrained joy on my boy's face as he ran to the fairy house the first morning, and yelled back to us, "They left us stones! Fairy stones! You know mommy didn't do it..." I quickly interjected, "You think I'm going to run out in the rain to leave stones? No way." That joyous look on his face will feed my soul for years, and remind me why I chose to have these two little stinkers.  My sweet beasts want to believe, and because of that I do too. 

At one point we were walking in the woods searching for fairy stones, cold rain pouring down our backs, the kids bounding, skipping, jumping along, pretending we had machetes to cut the underbrush, Little Beasts, who had assured me she had seen a fairy, looked at me sideways and said, "What do fairies look like?" she wanted to make sure we were all on the same page. The question was lost to the rain as Big Beast yelled, "Is this one, Mommy? Do you think this is a fairy stone?" I didn't want to have to answer because I wanted Little Beast to imagine her own fairy, as sparkly, magical, and bright as the beast's sweet brain could conjure. We moved on to examine the stone. 

Surprisingly I only had one single mom moment. That moment when I thought, "I wish I had someone here to teach them how to do this." I took the kids fishing, something I had grown up doing, but since becoming a Buddhist with I struggle with. I prayed a lot for those little worms, and made the kids thank each one as we put it one the hook. I can take a fish off a hook, a small fish, a blue gill, or even a small bass, but as we fished I saw this kid hook a HUGE fish across the lake. I ten pound fish. I monster big mouth fish, and I thought, "Oh shit, if my beasts hooks one of those we are in trouble." And then thankfully came the rains and we packed up and hit the cabin. Those fairies were watching out for the Queenpin too. 

Clapp your hands if you believe. That's what Peter Pan said, and I was clapping my hands like a mother fucker this weekend. Believe babies, believe beasties. Believe in magic and in our family. Believe in yourselves, and believe in your crazy mama. We can do this. This weekend I realized we are better than okay. We are flourishing. My beasts and I, even when we are not in the woods, we have a magical family. They will not have to fly off with The Lost Boys to find peace, maybe just pack up the car and head to the woods. That is a lesson that all beasts should learn, and finally, at 38 the Queenpin is learning it too.

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