Monday, March 30, 2015

Possibly the best weekend in Seattle any family has ever had.

There is nothing like seeing old friends. I need to cultivate and care for more of them. I've felt a bit lonely lately for honest-to-goodness adult conversation and yet still I do very little to fix it. There are lots of people in my life who have great friend potential. I've just sucked at reaching out to any one of them on any kind of regular basis.

With our music academy's recitals over and spring break here, we snuck off for a long weekend to celebrate Isaac's birthday. He was given the choice between camping, two days at the aquarium on the Oregon coast, or a trip to see a buddy and do some exploring in Seattle. He didn't even hesitate- Seattle won. Just like they should have done in the superbowl, yo.

Our girl in the loveliest yard. They have flowering fruit trees, climbing trees,
an enormous Rhody forest-hedge-monster, and a wild bunch of scrub at the edge to explore.

Monkeys at the Woodland Park Zoo.
Feisty, and they require a lot of feeding.

We bought a CityPass, which is a pretty good deal as long as you are going to go to every one of the 5 options it covers. With a total of 4 adults and 4 kids in our group and only 4 days for our mission it was exhausting, but I am glad we did it. I don't think we'd ever have gone to half of these things otherwise, and we really enjoyed them all. I also don't think I'd ever try doing it all in one long weekend again because we were pushing our luck.

Pacific Science Center.
We could have spent a week here.
With a butterfly room, it was even better than OMSI.

Whose unsupervised child is that climbing on that fence... oh, riiight...

I miss having friends like we had in college. Remember them? Up all night, checking in on how your exams went, attending recitals, introducing you to Rilke and Ligeti. It's really hard to maintain relationships when you have young kids (I am hoping it gets easier, but who knows?). So many more things have to match up than were required in college, all of which may evolve over time: husbands, kids, parenting styles, preferred activities, occasional babysitter availability, at least a couple of interests, personal & household hygiene (not completely kidding on that) and then you still have to find energy at the end of long days or weeks. That sounds terrible, considering these are people you profess to like. I'm finding, in my 40's, that I need to do a much better job making that effort.

This is what you feel like when you're 9 years old and you've been going to amazing places for 3 days, you have walked your feet off and then don't get to sit next to the person you request but you're trying to buck up anyway. 

And after the food, you feel so much better. Phew. 

Monorail! And Daddy hanging out for 4 days straight!

As a homeschooling mom, I also have an obligation to make opportunities for the kids to have friendships. I'm not talking about some fabled socialization gap in our schooling, but instead regular casual time with people they can stand that hopefully lasts years. Our kids don't have any cousins, and this is the kind of long term deep and wide phenomenon that is difficult to cultivate no matter what school your children attend.

There are rewards for dragging your family around for 10 hours straight.

So these friends in Seattle have been a blessing for our whole family. It was one of my favorite weekends, ever. I'm so grateful we had this little moment of everybody in sync, a minor human compatibility miracle covered in neat attractions and beautiful weather.

They were so good to their sister, too. She likes to get out and about and kept up with or outran us all,
give or take a nap or two. She slept half the drive home and immediately asked about our friends when she awoke

There will be a whole post about the aquarium because there was too much awesome to fit here.

This girl will tell you all about it if you ask, complete with gestures and a voice so excited 

she accidentally yodels from time to time. I love that.

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