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Thoughts For Thursday: McDonald’s, Canada, and A Diaper

August 11, 2011 · 16 comments

in Life, Thoughts For Thursday

As happens every year around this time, I start thinking about how summer is coming to an end, and I usually try to fit in a lot of fun activities before the kids head back to school.

Quite often, this period is a time of reflection, as I ponder if there are any places we could still visit during the next couple of weeks. These memories can be a wonderful thing, but sometimes they stab me in the heart as I realize the kids will be out of the house before I know it.  I so miss the days of pulling my kids in a wagon through a museum we visit called Greenfield Village.  Usually, the memories that hit me hardest are the little things, like watching the kids run down the hill in the backyard, or celebrating with whichever child caught a grasshopper (and cringing inside because insects creep me out).  It is these little snapshots of life that fill up my brain, and not so much trips that were elaborately planned and were somewhat expensive.

A memory that always makes me smile was a small excursion I took with the kids when they were toddlers.  My oldest son was 5, my daughter was 3 and my youngest son was 18 months, and my husband was out of town.   Late that afternoon, I gave all the kids their baths and put them in their pajamas.  Nothing was really striking me for dinner, so I decided to just hop in the car and see where we ended up.  Of course, the kids picked McDonald’s, and we ate in the van in the parking lot.  After dinner, I just started driving.  Next thing I know, I am going through the Detroit tunnel to Windsor and taking the kids to play at one of their favorite playgrounds along the Detroit River in Canada.  I love this play area because it had that spongy material underneath instead of wood chips or sand, and the view of Detroit is quite nice from this spot.

Anyway, we were all playing, and my youngest child started wandering over to a giant pit of mud.  When he got there, he just sat himself down and started having the time of his life.  We were are laughing our heads off; this child had mud all over his pajamas and all through his hair.  I looked at him and wondered how I was going to get this little mess home.  So, we took him to the restroom, put all his clothes in a bag, and tried to get at least some of the mud off of him.  In the end, my little guy ended up riding home from Canada in just his diaper, and he thought it was the funniest thing in the world.  (As did all of us.)  I was wondering if the border patrol would wonder why I was crossing into another country with my child clad in just a diaper, but nobody ever asked.  (If I was smuggling an apple across the border though, that would be a different story!)

This little trip cost about $20 total, including dinner and border crossing fees.  (I was even able to salvage my son’s pajamas with a good soaking.)  I have to say this may be the best twenty dollars I have ever spent in my life. I never could have planned such a perfect sequence of events, and that is how the best things in life usually are.  That is what is so great about just hopping in the car and ending up wherever and not having a plan.  There are no preconceived expectations and life can just flow.

Unfortunately, it is a lot harder to find the time to just hop in the car and drive away for an undetermined amount of time since my kids are older and have so many commitments.  So, I will just cherish all the memories I have, and feel lucky for all the wonderful time we have had as a family.

Do you have a memory you would like to share of something that turned out great, and was somewhat unexpected?

 

 

 

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Crystal @ BFS August 11, 2011 at 8:40 am

My parents took all of us to Washington state when I was a teenager. One part of the trip was planned – hanging out on Orcas Island. The driving part of the trip was unplanned, and surprisingly the best part was when our rental car broke down on a wide open strip of highway between mountains. My parents took turns waiting for the rental car company’s replacement vehicle while the rest of us wondered down the embankment and found a gorgeous stream to play in. That was fun!

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Kris August 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Oh I love pulling over to random place and playing in the water. One of my best memories too was when my husband and I took our first vacation together when we were married and headed down to the Smoky Mountains. There was a great swimming hole that we found and jumped right in. The water was freezing, but that spontaneity is so fun.

I chuckle at the thought of a broken down care being the best part.

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First Gen American August 11, 2011 at 9:02 am

How touching. Well mine are at the age of your story but I only have the older too. I’ve had many a car trip with my child in only a diaper. It would be interesting to know what your kids most remember from those days growing up. Seems to me if water is involved in any way, it’s a recipe for a good time.

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Kris August 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm

My youngest son has always loved mud. The middle he saw it, he would just take off running and just plop right down, smiling ear to ear. I miss those days so much…

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First Gen American August 11, 2011 at 9:04 am

oops. I forgot to add my favorite memory. I think one of my most favorite memories is when I see my children watering the garden at babci’s house. When my oldest was still young, he’d follow her around with a watering can and water the plants. Now they both love using the hose.

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Kris August 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Oh that is so cute that he would roam around the yard with Babci. I can totally picture it now!

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krantcents August 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm

These experiences create the best memories! Isn’t funny how little it cost to have such a great memory. This was true for our family too. Most of our best memories were with family, laughing about stories or incidences that cost less than $10-20.

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Kris August 11, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I totally agree Krantcents. Usually, I don’t know how great something is going to be until it has already happened. In other words, the best times are quite often spontaneous.

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Invest It Wisely August 11, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Sometimes it’s those little trips that are the most fun and create the best memories.

How quick is it to cross the border there? It’s probably much better than the borders here 😉

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Kris August 14, 2011 at 11:43 pm

I haven’t crossed the border since they started requiring a passport. (It is expensive to get a passport for 5 people, and a lot of work. I do need to do it though.) However, the last time I crossed, it was only about 15 minutes. If you cross around the holidays though, it can be hours.

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Invest It Wisely August 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Hmm… can you get a special driver’s license? It is apparently $40 for 4 years here, and allows entry by all methods except plane. For that, you still need a passport. I don’t know how it works for minors though.

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Kris August 15, 2011 at 8:09 am

You can still get a special driver’s license. But I have hesitated to do that because that won’t work if you go overseas. Basically, I am cheap and lazy, and I don’t have a ‘must have’ reason to get a passport. 🙂

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Tina Argersinger August 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm

The kids saw the bridge to Canada on a recent trip to MI going from a friend’s house & were very interested in going. I almost made a spontaneous stop there just so they could say they had been in another country until I realized that I would probably need passports or birth certificates for them (not like the old days when we just drove across). I’ll have to settle for taking them spontaneously to IL now.

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Kris August 14, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Tina, it IS so much harder to get across the border now days. I don’t even have a passport, so I can’t go anymore, let alone take the kids. (Although if my youngest ran off to sit in a puddle now, I might be a little frustrated since he is 13 now…) You have to take them to Canada at some point, just so they can say they are international travelers!

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Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer August 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm

It sounds like such a great memory! Cherish those moments.

I’m glad my grandson’s mom lets him get dirty. I like seeing a dirty child at the end of day of play. It means they did something other than watching TV or sitting around.

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Kris August 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm

I do cherish the moments, that is for sure. I never minded a dirty child. What bothered me much more was a child that was overly wound up from too many electronics!

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