It was crowded, windy, and surprisingly cold. Everything was a bit overpriced. The food trucks had run out of staple items—it was the afternoon of the last day of the fall festival. The petting zoo contained one horse, a bunny, and a pig. The pony ride line was an hour long. The pumpkin patch wasn’t a patch at all, but rows of pumpkins lined up on bales of hay. The kids argued over who got to ride in the wagon, which was becoming more and more cumbersome to pull around. The little one cried off most of her face-paint because the hot, fresh donuts weren’t chocolate. We had to park really, really far away.
We were together, outside in the sunshine, on a beautiful, huge farm. We snacked on kids’ meals, all of us—chicken fingers and honey mustard and fries. Ev rode her first carnival ride—those swings that fling you out from the center as you spin around—and was positively gleeful. Both kids had their faces transformed into kitty cats, with pointy ears, pink noses, and whiskers. Daisy braved two bounce houses alone and showed us she’s tougher than we realized. And once she tasted that delicious donut, she forgot all about its lack of chocolate frosting. We passed a frosted apple cider back and forth between the four of us. The girls laughed as the wagon bounced along over dirt and grass, their newly selected pumpkins on their laps. We stuck our heads through the photo op signs and took pictures of each other.
Both stories are accurate and true, but the posture of my heart makes the difference.
I get hung up dwelling on things from that first perspective, noticing only where my expectations didn’t align with reality—left only with disappointment.
But if you were to ask the kids about our excursion today, I know the second version would be the story they’d tell—the one full of good memories made.
Those are the things worth paying attention to. I can let go of the rest.
I’m near the end of a month-long series on taking note of the beautiful in the mundane. Catch up on the rest here!