I don't get to go on them as often as I used to because I have too many kids now to fit in the van. Plus, taking six littles somewhere as opposed to four - not so fun for me. And especially not so fun for all the people who see us coming. Their eyes get as big as saucers and they run away. Literally.
But the stars aligned last week: I only had three day care kids and three big boys. Plus, one of my kids was graduating after being with me for three years, so it was a perfect way to celebrate with him.
I chose one of my old favorites, McCray's Farm. Older Son immediately balked. He's way too old for that place. I told him that he wouldn't see anyone he knew, and if he did, he had to come because he was helping me.
Younger Son happened to have a friend over and they were both game to go. My oldest girl was ecstatic to find out if there'd be a horse at the farm. Older griped on the way over because "the best part was that castle for climbing and now it's gone." I got sad remembering how different the farm was when we first started going there, and how long ago that seems now.
It's funny what animals will do to kids, even cool ones who don't care about going to see the animals. When the three big boys went in to buy feed cones for the animals the nice lady behind the counter gave them each a loaf of bread. Younger's friend was squealing with laughter at every animal that charged toward his loaf.
We found a large new animal that was not a bull and not a bison, and was so mysterious that we had to go back in and ask (water buffalo - crazy). We fought off the aggressive llama so my girl could feed the black horse she was in love with. The graduate played endlessly on the tractor. Older not only put up with being at such a lame place, but he lifted the littles so they could feed their cones to the animals.
And of course, we forgot how incredibly delicious the fresh, homemade ice cream is. I was sure that with six kids I'd be cleaning up ice cream for 20 minutes after our snack, but they all did a great job of keeping it clean.
I was enjoying being out and seeing the excitement of all the kids so much. I miss the trips because it's so nice to get out of the house. We had a very busy summer and we were home for many long, hot days. Just being out and about and having a little freedom from the routine was exactly what we all needed.
Older summed it up when he said, "It's cool that we can come back to these places that we haven't been to in a long time and remember why they were fun." He also remembered that they have a mini golf course and asked when we could come back. (Yeay! Don't let him know his mother is happy!)
When the three big boys sat on the fence and my graduate wanted to climb up there with him, Younger climbed down to help boost him up. Everyone was just happy. We went home, had lunch, and laid down for a nice quiet naptime. Wish I could do it more often.