Precious toddlers and preschoolers dance to music, babies are breastfed, children's faces are painted, moms connect and laugh, we share our grapes and string cheese sticks and our understanding glances when kids do what kids do, like Anna Cate who at 2 walked from blanket to blanket (as I chased behind her saying NO), trying to take people's food assuming it was a buffet.
The past two weeks, I've taken the girls and it has been so nice and fun. There is a fountain in the center where children throw pennies and make wishes. Here is Anna Cate's:
yes, the wish is to be a princess. Not very practical, but precious, indeed.
We met Miss Diana there and the kids she keeps for the summer, and she gave Anna Cate a penny and an order to make a wish for Molly. When I asked what that wish was, she replied, "I wish her can be a princess, too." It warmed this mother's heart to know that Anna Cate wants the very best for her baby sister, who by the way is giggling now, and it melts us all.
The picnic provides me the greatest opportunity...a place where I can comfortably nurse Molly and Anna Cate is entertained. That is the bulk of my existence right now as a mother, and the park and the pool is where that can happen without my house being destroyed by Anna Cate's "entertainment".....sweet! Now, if it weren't so hot!
We had swim lessons
We then met our friend, Kristen, who is a kindergarten teacher, and one of AC's buddies. Anna Cate knows my dad's lessons that friends don't have to be your own age.
Speaking of Anna Cate's friends, she loves her Thursdays with Patti. This week, they saw Toy Story 3, where she had her OWN popcorn tray she proudly told me on the way home. When I said, I hope you said thank you, she replied, "oh, I paid"...meaning Patti gave her the $$ and she gave it to the clerk. We have a lot to learn.
After a restful Thursday night for us, the treat on Friday mornings is to meet Anna Cate at "Eileen's bakery," where I indulge myself in seeing Anna Cate's hair in the beautiful french braid Patti does,
the thoughts that Patti will create a special bond with Molly, too
and the most wonderful, worth every bit of the calories, cinnamon twist.
Molly's indulgence lately is discovering the joy of her feet.
And with that pose, she may one day be able to attend "Mommy and Me" yoga class that Anna Cate and I enjoy. ...another way I can enjoy the life of a stay-at-home mom during the summer. It is such a bummer that those classes never seem to be on a schedule for working moms.
While Anna Cate is not quite a princess, she does have a very full social schedule. On Saturday, she went to a birthday party in the morning, hosted a tea party in the afternoon, and attended her first wedding Saturday evening. (the wedding was such a big deal, it will get its own post).
So, we did the only logical thing to do when you have a big weekend....get a manicure and pedicure with Mommy. So we were off...
She loved the water and the jets,
And looking for anything she could recognize in a magazine...
And the personal attention...
And a girl with a big weekend might get a phone call she has to take on her princess phone while she waited on Mommy to finish...or chat it up with the other clients.
But all the activity meant she needed a "touch up"
The birthday party was fabulous fun. The birthday girl, Maeve, and Anna Cate are third generation family friends. Their dads grew up together as their mothers were best friends from when the boys were quite young. Maeve's Nana is Anna Cate's Baba, Brenda, who was Susie's, , dear, dear friend. Even though they aren't cousins, I just sort of explained it like a Tennessee girl would, right?!
Kristen, by the way, is Maeve's cousin and was Anna Cate's ride to the party. I can not keep the social schedule of Anna Cate's all the time.
She came home to host a tea party for princesses. (or girls who wish they were). Notice the silly bands her Daddy bought her to share are even in princess shapes...If you don't know what silly bands are, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
These girls are daughters of friends of BJ's growing up, who have become my friends, too. Melissa, in the middle, is expecting Claire's baby sister in less than two weeks, so maybe future play dates with Molly are in store.
Here is a pic of these girls before they met the world at my shower for Anna Cate in March of 2006...
They played quite well together, especially considering how hard it would be to please three princesses!
I know all too well, one day Anna Cate will realize she is not a princess, and that pretending won't be enough. Today I'm thankful that pretending is as good as the wish coming true. I also know that one day, I will be annoyed when flowers picked from the garden won't be fancy enough for what material things girls want, so I pray that the mother I am then can acknowledge the whiny teenager as just a little girl who wants to be a princess.