The power of appreciation

I have not gotten to the gym all week.  Jon left town on Monday and returns on Friday.  I hate these weeks for numerous reasons: first, because my hubby is gone; second, because these kids know they can get away with murder with their mama; and third, because I am unable to start my day with a run or with gym time, which can make me very grumpy.  It does not help that I am compulsive about everything so if I don’t work out, then I eat really bad food.  If I workout, I eat really good food.  So, Twix bars and M&Ms have been my diet all week, which makes me even grumpier! 

Actually, I have not been too grumpy this week because I have had such a great time with Maria and Mario.  I have let them stay up late every night (it will be a rude awakening when Dad comes home on Friday!).  We have hit the library, Jeni’s, Wendy’s, and tonight, the indoor swimming pool!  I picked M&M up early and we headed straight to the pool (I had run to Target on my lunch hour and bought swimming suits for both of them since Maria outgrew her suit (when both butt cheecks are falling out you gotta hang it up!)) and Mario had pooped in his a few nights back and I had yet to wash it – lovely).  They were so excited, especially Maria who has been begging to hit the pool for months.   Maria also loved her new bathing suit, which relieved me because I decided against the Princess suit this year and went for a suit full of colorful Peace symbols. 

We arrived to an empty pool, which is a beautiful sight.  No one to bump into us or splash us (all of us are such loners!).  Maria is doing so well with going under water and even went under water while “swimming” to me tonight (scraping her arms along the bottom of the pool with her head submerged – but hey, it is something!).  I make her feel proud with my boasting but I am simply so happy to see her liking the water.  Mario just splashes around, throws his ball, goes down the little slide, and hangs out.  He will not submerge his head, yet.  But I gotta believe that with his crazy self the time will soon come.

We left around 7:00, and we were all starving.  Yes, another Wendy’s night.  Although, Maria chose a baked potato over french fries tonight, which is a positive change (does it matter that she loaded it up with two packets of sour cream!).  As we sat there savoring the salty french fries dipped in ketchup, Maria chimed in with a bit of appreciation that completely took me off guard. 

“Mom, I have two things to thank you for tonight.  Thank you for picking me up early. And thank you for taking us to the pool.”

My little appreciative soul

Just like that my day transformed.   I got more sincere appreciation from my four and a half-year old daughter than I have at work for two years.  

After our dinner, I bought them kid sized Frostys (and myself an adult sized one with M&Ms (they are daggone good!)).  Maria got whipped cream and chocolate sauce on hers.  I looked over at her on her stool with chocolate syrup on her upper lip and Frosty cup in hand.  Her head turned in another direction and looking around the restaurant in a whimsical way, she whispered “What a great ending to the day.”  You hit it on the head, girlie. 

She brings me back to what is true and real to me – my time with family, yummy food, and letting go.  Thanks, Ms. Ria.  I love you!  And, Mario, thanks for keeping us laughing all night with your madness! I love you, too!

One thought on “The power of appreciation

  1. Laura says:

    Every time my husband goes out of town, I feel renewed respect for all of the single parents out there. It’s tough going for sure! Bravo to you for taking your kids out on grand adventures to help pass the time.

    And I know just what you mean about getting grumpy when you don’t get to exercise. It’s so weird–I’ll find myself in a foul mood, and Drew will ask me when the last time I went to the gym was. Then the light bulb goes off in my head–but I never seem to make the connection before the grump monster comes out in full force. That’s something I need to work on I think.

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