|My little posers. The only posing I did was to tell Bree where to kneel, and tell Declan and Kael they needed to put their hands on their sisters shoulders- to keep them from running away. And to tell Anya to quit holding her dress up princess style.|
Friday was a beautiful spring day, and I took the kids to the little lakes above our house to take some pictures. While I was chasing them around, a gal ran by jogging and exclaimed at them and asked if she could help. My first reaction was to decline- feeling slightly embarrassed, and worried I was interrupting her jog. But she looked genuinely happy to help. I gave her an out and told her I didn't want to stop her workout, but she insisted and came over to helped me wrangle. It made quite a difference, and I don't think I could have gotten what I did without her help. Mostly she just kept a really curious cat from distracting the kids. He kept coming over and scaring Declan away, so she finally just held the cat! When she left we wished each other a Happy Easter. I was grateful for the help, and so grateful to live right next to such a pretty place. Every Easter we've gone driving in search of anything near and decent to shoot by, and in our last neighborhood it has been so futile and disappointing, I've ended up just shooting on our lawn. This was so fun. But most of all I was grateful to be the mom of these five monkeys.
We don't really know what's around here, so we ended up driving around disagreeing on where to go until we saw an IHOP. I love the food at that restaurant, but I was not happy about the fact that I could have just stayed home and made pancakes and eggs for a tenth the cost, and just hadn't thought of it.
I reluctantly ordered three kids meals that looked like they'd be easy to split up (my kids never eat all their food if we eat out- I wasn't in the mood to pay for extra pancakes.) The waiter went over our order, "So three kids meals, and nothing for you?" I just shook my head and smiled, thinking I would just heat up some leftovers in the oven after I got the boys to bed. After he left I leaned my elbows on the table and tried to rub the tension out of my head from getting all the kids dressed in their Sunday best, from the normal chaos of shoot, re-dressing everyone, and the disorganized drive to the restaurant.
The table behind me was occupied by a family of five, with kids about my kids' ages. Declan pointed at their "baby" who was his age, and we all giggled. After we ate, the usher-dude came up to our table with our check, which turned out to be a receipt. The family had paid for our meal, and asked him to pass along the salutation of a Happy Easter. I gasped and blushed, imagining the scene they must have thought they witnessed: a single stressed-out mom, trying to save money by not eating anything. I was thoroughly embarrassed, but tried just to appear grateful for the usher and kids' sake. He left, and the girls all exclaimed at the generosity of the gesture, and wondered why the family did that. I explained that the family had done it to express their love for Christ and their fellowman, and might have been making a special effort because it was Easter. I flippantly suggested we find someone and pay for their meal, and all the kids pounced on the idea. Unfortunately, the only other people in the restaurant were on their way out, and we had to go soon.
It was so sweet to have ventured out for one of the first times in our new area and to have encountered such nice people. I was grateful for the example they were to my kids, and to me.