Big Wheels Peace Accord

by - November 03, 2014

This morning I'm sitting on the couch, drinking coffee, and listening to the boys upstairs playing with some new action figures. The tension between the two of them has been through the roof the past couple weeks, so hearing them playing together does my heart good. Sometimes the struggle of parenthood is managing to equip children with conflict resolution tools while the bullets are flying... at each other and at you as the parent. Sometimes I succumb to the chaos and become the snarliest version of myself, and sometimes I rise above. I take a deep breath, say a little prayer, and try again to initiate a peace accord.

Last week there was a teacher work day, and the boys and I made good use of it playing with clay, frolicking outdoors, eating junk and watching cartoons. Parents can get a bad reputation for ruining the fun, but what kids don't realize is that there are some parents who have great intentions of grand adventures, but the kids themselves sabotage it by fighting or whining or talking back.

Those parents are so desperate to have preparations go smoothly and the kids to fall in line for just a few minutes as they grab up the snacks and big wheels and blanket, and they throw out lines like, "If I hear one more scream or fight or whine, I'm canceling the whole plan!" I have to fight for fun. I extend just a little more grace and help with the socks shoes. Running them all out of energy at the park means I have to challenge them to the quiet mouse game with "winners get ice cream" and then try to make them laugh by lip-syncing songs from the 90s.

I'd share the pictures and video from our afternoon adventure, but after reading the "park rules" online, I'm fairly sure those pictures would get us in trouble even if we weren't aware of those rules ahead of time. Technically, big wheels aren't bicycles, but next time we will stick to the spirit of the law.

It was a relatively peaceful afternoon, and while there was heightened drama in the day around it, for two hours we soaked up the sun and wind and enjoyed each other. I often wonder how much of these moments my boys will remember, as I can barely remember the last six years of my life thanks to parent brain and insomnia, but I hope that they remember we fought for peace and adventure, and that occasionally we had to leave our own walls to find it.

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