I took the kids to the annual Earth Day and Alumni weekend at my Alma mater this past weekend. They had a lot of fun in the kid areas, meeting farm animals, drawing pictures, making felted earth balls, planting seeds. M liked riding this battery-charging Exercycle so much that I think we'll hook our TV up to one.
In one tent they were fascinated touching and examining the preserved skins and skulls of various wild animals and the National Park employee was impressed by how "nature-oriented" they were--I puffed up a bit, thinking I must be doing something right (also I was hoping the skins hadn't been preserved with anything too toxic).
The college students who ran the activities seemed so unbelievable young (i.e. I felt so unbelievably old), and I couldn't help feeling a little sad at being just a visitor at this place I was once a part of. I also was kicking myself for not appreciating all it had to offer more than I did. And I was wondering, "What in h*ll have I been doing for the last 14 years???"
Later we followed the nature trail down to the beach behind the college (yeah, I went to a college with a beach, and a National Park in the back yard. Jealous?), where they climbed the cliffs and dug for sea glass. They could have stayed there for days I'm sure, but I finally dragged them away to go meet our friends and walk into town, where they enjoyed pretending to shoot off these cannons.
For dinner we went to a movie theater/pizzeria and sat in old couches watching Monsters vs. Aliens. It was their first trip to a movie theater since the twins were two months old and I took M to go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, hoping the babies would sleep through the movie. Instead I had to alternately nurse them through the entire thing, trying to keep them quiet enough to not disturb others (and it wasn't even that good of a movie for all that trouble!). Fortunately, this time was a lot easier--the theater was full of kids, so I didn't have to worry about any kind of ruckus my kids made, and once the movie started they were frozen/terrified and didn't make a peep (nor would they eat their pizza until intermission).
Sunday we hiked a short trail to another beach, but even though it was still mostly sunny, the wind was freezing, so we didn't stay long, and everyone was mad at me that I enforced the National Park rule of "take nothing but pictures" and made them leave the sea glass and sea shells there (yes it does seem arbitrary to a 3 year old, but principles are principles).
Monday morning I woke up with a sore throat, thinking it was just our friends' cat finally catching up with me, but as we drove home, a headache set in. We dropped M off at one of his grandma's house for a few days (it's vacation week here), and while we visited there I started feeling worse and worse. By the time we got home, I knew I was sick, went to bed at 7 p.m., called in sick yesterday and stayed in bed all day (with a book), which is actually something I've been wishing for for a long time (yes, it is sick to wish you could get sick just so you can rest), but I had a hard time relaxing because our house was so messy, and I'll be going away again next weekend, so finally in late afternoon I dragged myself out of bed to straighten up and fix dinner, and ended up staying up way too late to finish my last poetry assignment.
And now, on actual Earth Day, we're back to our usual routine of work and daycare, with nothing special planned to honor Earthy things like gigantic barnacles (can you believe the size of this thing? The hole in the middle was about the size of a penny!).