So have I ever told you the story about my trip to visit my dearest friend Maria and how we decided it would be fun to take our kids to a place called Kangaroo Zoo? It's a place were you would find a dozen or so inflatable bounce houses and slides shaped into every exotic rainforest animal you could dream of. You know the air filled slides with the thirty feet tall inflatable stairs (barely existent foot grips) to get to the top? Ya those! I imagined we would go and Sadie and I would have a blast in the bounce houses while Bro and her daughter could climb to their hearts content on any thing they wished.
Let me first tell you that Maria's adorable 6 year old daughter is blessed with this wisdom and patience of someone much older. When ever we visit she waits for Sadie instead of running ahead, she can keep up with or redirect Sadie's 5 second attention span and she can calmly wait out any tantrum or fit Sadie tends to bring on. I'm not saying all the other kids that leave Sadie in the dust to run across the playground are punks, they are just kids and thats what kids do. This friend is just especially wonderful. That being said I'm pretty convinced that all that is her wonderfulness is because of her parents and most specifically her mom.
So after Maria lured us into Kangaroo Zoo she revealed that her idea of what we were doing there and mine were completely different. Bro looked around with awe as he took in this huge industrial building filled with the air filled assortment. Sadie immediately started expressing that she wanted to go on everything! Maria squatted down in front of her and said "Sadie you can go on anything you want as many times as you want !" I must have had an incredulous look on my face when Maria turned to me because she said "What? I don't what Sadie to miss out on anything!" This is why Maria is my best friend. We were at Kangaroo Zoo for nearly 3 hours and every time Sadie wanted to go down a slide "again!" Maria would reply with an enthusiastic smile and a "you betcha!" or "yes ma'am!" and we would take turns or team up on pushing her little buns up the slides with Bro and Maria's daughter cheering us on from the top.
I admit that sometimes it's easier to avoid the Kangaroo Zoos in my life. But when your best friend is there pushing your not so ambulatory 5 year old up a steep 30 foot incline it makes it easier and maybe even a little fun. I think we were both incredibly sore the next day and so relinquished the thought of a second trip to Kangaroo Zoo (until this next summer).
This last weekend we were invited to a little bounce house place for a birthday party. I now knew what I was in for so I had to prepare. It was a pajama party so I extended that dress code to myself knowing all to well I would not be socializing but instead hauling Sadie up inflatable slides and obsicle courses. I needed to be cozy. This is the kind of thing I might talk myself out of going to, but Maria had set the bar and there was no going back plus there was a doughnut cake involved and there was no way I was missing out on that! Luckily when I got there there was a few other moms from Sadie's class in there PJ's too. Some even rivaled my bright Hello Kitty pants. Sadie, Bro and I immediately jumped in. Sadie wanted to race her friends through the various obstacle blowups and I needed to help her over the climbing walls. For quite a bit I was the only mom jumping (understandably so, it was a kids party after all) but soon the PJ gang joined me. Nature called to Bro and I had to put a friend in charge of looking after Sadie in the jump house while we made a potty trip. When I returned I saw two of the moms pushing Sadie up one of the big slides. For the rest of the time my PJ pals took turns pushing her up whatever slide she fancied.
It really meant so much to me (and to my aching back). It's what made me think of last summers trip too Kangaroo Zoo and Maria's enthusiastic effort to make sure Sadie had fun, and how nice it is to have help accomplishing the things everyone else can do so we don't have to miss out on anything.