Yesterday was the big day I had waited for. Time to go bowling, time to get our photo session done and time to tell the kids about the One Direction concert. It was a day full of emotions. Not just for the kids, but for me too. The day started out like every big day does. The kid’s excitement was overflowing to the point that I wanted to kill them. I had butterflies in my stomach just thinking about what would take place at the bowling alley. Plus I was doing my best not to stress out over the photo shoot.
As I said, I had butterflies in my stomach. The kind that make you want to vomit. (Sorry for that graphic image) It was from a combination of excitement and fear. I wanted to share the surprise with the kids, but at the same time I was afraid their reaction wouldn’t be what I was expecting. It was like waiting for Christmas day to arrive to see if the kids liked their gifts, but multiply those emotions times 10. Believe it or not, I actually told Marie that if she played one more One Direction song on her tablet that morning, I was going to kill her. Here I was, getting ready to break the news to the kids that we were going to see One Direction in concert and I was telling Marie that I couldn’t handle hearing one more of their songs. Man, nerves really do funny things to people.
I feel like I did a pretty good job of not stressing out over the photo shoot. Or should I say, getting prepared for the photo shoot. I had purchased some sleeveless shirts for the kids and I to wear at the concert. My plan was to attach some glow-in-the-dark iron-ons to them for the concert. But first, I was going to use them as our outfits for our photo shoot. The shirts are all different colors and Frank has a sleeveless shirt that he wears to work that matched. So sleeveless shirts and shorts were our choice of clothing for the family pictures.
Did I freak out when Ann picked a pair of shorts to wear that had a little stain on it? No. Did I freak out when I noticed Frank’s work shirt looked a little faded in the back? No. Did I freak out that Patrick was still sporting an overgrown mo-hawk, that I was in need of a trim and that Marie’s hair had decided to tangle? No. I decided that these family photos weren’t about the clothes we wore or the style of our hair. It was about our family documenting a fun, once-in-a-lifetime event together.
I decided that we should look the way we normally do. My hair might be a bit unruly, but that’s the way I usually look. The stains and fading on the clothes probably wouldn’t be noticed by anyone but me and even if it did get noticed by someone, who cares? These are the clothes that we normally wear. Even the fact that my shirt was a little snugger than I would have liked didn’t bother me. This is the shirt I bought and this is the way I look right now. I want these pictures to show what my family is like. If that means showing off my WHOLE imperfect self, so be it. I want the kids to look back at these pictures down the road and be able to remember this day like it was yesterday. Even if that means Mom’s body takes up more of the pictures than I would like.
So we made it to the bowling alley and the photographer was waiting for us. The kids did very well, getting along with each other and with the photographer. We bowled like we normally do, we ordered and ate food like we normally do, we even stopped at the game room afterwards like we normally do. There might have been a few extra smiles than normal, but I believe they were genuine smiles, not fake ones. Along with the smiles, there were some moments I had the traditional stressed out look on my face, but that’s okay. That will give the kids a chance to remember the many faces of Mom.
By the time the little kids and I bowled one game, the others had finished bowling their second game. Then it was time for the unveiling of the secret. I had made a sign that the photographer printed out for me to use as a photo prop. So we gathered the kids together and shot a few posed photos and then we announced to the kids that we were going to the One Direction concert. Marie was the most animated, however she did not scream or cry like I thought she might. Patrick was acting like a typical boy, not wanting to show his enthusiasm. Ann was all smiles and Christopher was jumping around with the sign…once he figured out what it meant. 🙂 I was pretty pleased with their reactions and I think I’ll be very pleased with the pictures the photographer took.
After getting home and answering five million questions from the kids, Frank took Christopher and Marie to watch a local baseball game. Patrick and Ann stayed at home with me and we worked on getting the glow-in-the-dark iron-ons attached to the shirts. I realized, during that evening, that after I had told the kids the secret I had been hiding for a month, my feelings had changed. I was still excited, but I also had this feeling of remorse or relief or something. My excitement had decreased a bit after I shared it with the kids. Like I was giving them part of my excitement when I told them the secret. So now I was only carrying around 1/5 of the excitement level than I had before. It was weird to feel like it, but it did.
So now that the kids know and tomorrow is Monday, I guess I need to get busy and get things packed up. The kids are excited and want to help. I just hate packing, because I know that I will forget something before it’s done. As long as I don’t forget the tickets to the concert, I’ll be okay. 🙂