This weekend we decided we'd no longer let the trepidation of going out with both kids hold us back. You see, for the last few months we've avoided going out at the weekend for fear someone will have an all-out screaming meltdown, or both, or that in the end the destination just might not be worth the hassle.
So we've played in the garden, we've played in the basement, we've watched movies, we've grazed on food, we've taken turns to go out while the other stays with the kids.
But yesterday we remembered that one of the reasons we moved to Calgary was the mountains - the glorious Rockies, only one hour from our house. We remembered the promise of summers rafting, camping, swimming in lakes (albeit very cold glacier-fed ones), and winters skiing. And when, exactly, was the last time we visited these legendary mountains? Err, nope, don't remember.
So, on Sunday, sick of the house, we packed everyone into the car and headed for Kananaskis. We were optimistic and high-spirited as we loaded the kids, dog and various kid/dog-related equipment into the car and drove out for a midday picnic.
It was a beautiful day. Warm with a little breeze. The lake was peaceful and breathtaking, and there were just a few people kicking back with their families and friends, enjoying the weekend.
We managed an hour or so before everyone was safely buckled back into the car, but it was good. Maybe the first successful family outing. We breathed the mountain air, took in the surroundings, strolled leisurely along the footpath and talked about one day owning a place on a lake. And for a few moments felt like we were on vacation.
And the near perfect day was not even distinguished by Matthew running off in every direction - us taking turns to chase and retrieve him, Bongo trying to pull over the picnic bench he was tied to, or Oliver whining loudly because he did NOT want to be in his car seat but held constantly, and oh gawd NOT the hat mom NOT THE HAT! And me trying without nagging to coax everyone to sit and eat lunch.
Lovely, though the outing did give me a premonition of what a camping trip with the kids might be like. Think I won't be doing that for a while.