Like the Dickens

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair..."  Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

This often quoted passage describes my weekend perfectly.

Saturday, also known as "The Worst of Times"

We survived the most impressive tantrum our oldest child has thrown to date. I will now refer to it as The Tantrum because it will go down in our familiy's history as a shining moment of dysfuntion and, thusly, deserves to be capitalized and given the respect it is due. The Tantrum lasted 45 minutes and involved our son screaming so loudly that people in the outer ring suburbs thought there was an air raid. The screaming was accompanied by running around in circles at an astonishing pace. If we could have hooked him up to a power grid, our electric bill would have dropped by half. Now, maybe your children are shy and prefer to keep their complete breakdowns private but our son, well, he is poised for a life on the stage. He performed The Tantrum outside...in the front yard, in the side yard, in the back yard and then in the front again with the grande finale occurring in the back. My favorite part was the stares from the neighbors and the unfortunate souls wandering home from a day at the park. No, wait! The best part was the complete breakdown in parenting communication and the resulting pain and suffering we, the parents, inflicted on each other as we raced to point out who handled The Tantrum in the worst possible way.  Yes, that was quite the feather in our parenting caps.

Sunday, also known as "The Best of Times" or as "Thank God We Survived Satuday"

When we woke up Sunday, the sun was shining and the birds were singing cheerful songs...not the songs of impending doom that they were whistling the day before. We all woke up civilized and wise. We spent the day outside...at Minnehaha Falls...with our friends.  The kids ran around laughing and climbing and playing. The adults got to lounge around chatting and jumping rope. Yes, jumping rope. We are a whimsical and jolly lot. We had a picnic and then there was more playing and laughing and chatting. When half of the group left after dinner, those of us left went on a hike around the falls as the sun was setting. The kids explored the woods and the rocks and we enjoyed watching them. None of us wanted the day to end. When we finished our walk, we ambled over to Sea Salt and got ice cream for the kids and beer and calamari for the adults. The kids finished their treat long before we finished ours and they played tag in the grass while we sat back and relaxed. When it was time to leave, the kids went willingly though slowly. After they had fallen asleep at home, we went to kiss them one more time before we went to bed ourselves. They smelled like the earth.