Friday, August 15, 2008

Super Surprise Friday

This whole SSF thing seemed like a great idea originally. But so far, and I'm not naming names, of the events that come to mind:

... and then there's today's visit to the Wings of Fancy butterfly exhibit. With possibly twenty or more colorful varieties of butterflies. Some friends joined us. I made a picnic lunch for our excursion. And Rice Krispy treats. It looked like it was going to be a great day. Lanie was thrilled to be going (I actually tipped her off ahead of time). Even in line, her enthusiasm was obvious. We all got our hands stamped at the door with the butterfly stamp, naturally. We enter the exhibit: a magical land of flying, floating, skittering butterflies. It was precious. It took Erin a second to catch on, but then she was, cool ... butterflies. It was remarkable.

I have taken Lanie to this exhibit for the past three or four years, and every year it's the same reception: begging, pleading, tears not to enter the butterfly sanctuary. Panicked eyes, drama, and finally, relief when we leave. But today held new promise. We had friends with us. Fearless friends.

About seven minutes into walking around, Lanie starts crowding around me. A couple of whimpers. And then she's ducking and bobbing as the butterflies flit around. Soon, she's screaming. Shrieks of terror. You think I'm exaggerating, but anyone who knows us, knows I'm not. She has had a similar response to dead leaves on the ground, bees, dogs, and even our cat who's just looking at her. You'd have thought we mistakenly entered the vulture exhibit.

I didn't dare tell her a beautiful blue butterfly landed on her back. But she was in such a panic in general, the butterfly wisely moved on. I got some pictures, but none that really conveyed what I'd hoped the day to be. Fortunately, everyone in our group was ready to move on. Kids were hungry and thirsty. Everyone was ready for a change of scenery. We get outside to walk to the car and Lanie's all, "Oh look at that pretty butterfly over there!" Me, scratching my head, huh?

We get the kids in the car and drive to the part of the park where you can picnic because there's no way any of them would have survived the half mile trek to picnicking. There were even questionable moments in the air-conditioned car. I was tempted to run red lights, and there's not a cop or court in America that would convict me of a crime when I explained, "I had four hungry and thirsty kids in the car!"

So after about two hours of exhibiting, picnicking and park playing, our sweaty troop was ready to head home. Some were whiny, some complainy, some frazzled. I laughed out loud when my friend said, "That was a lot of fun!"

I might have to change Super Surprise Friday to Mean Torture Friday. I wonder if that's how Lanie will remember this summer. "The summer Mom made me do all kinds of things I didn't want to do and caused me to have nightmares and a fear of butterflies."

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