Before kids, my husband and I were a pretty fun couple. We ate at the most interesting restaurants in whatever city we lived in. We quit our jobs after getting married and moved to Italy for 3 months, just to hang out with the locals in a tiny town called Panicale. We traveled to cities across the country to view art exhibitions and see our favorite musicians in concert. We even made it into Ben Harper’s Live at the Hollywood Bowl concert DVD.
Once the kids were born, we knew that we would have to put some of our fun on hiatus. Europe seemed a little daunting with kids 15 months apart. Traveling to LA for a Van Gogh exhibit seemed a little extravagant. Even finding a babysitter to try a new restaurant took us a few months to plan. We yearned to share our favorite experiences with our kids, but we just weren’t there yet.
Well, my dear mamas, I am ecstatic to say, we have finally arrived!
This year has been a year of many firsts. We took the kids on a weeklong excursion to Manhattan in the spring, which was full of museums, Mario Batali restaurants, and every mode of transportation imaginable. This summer we drove 10 hours to Lake Tahoe, TWICE, because the kids were more well-behaved in the car than during the vacation.
But, the icing on the cake was taking the family to the Bridge School Benefit concert in Mountain View this past weekend. This wasn’t just a concert….this was the mother of all concerts! 9 hours in the sun, listening to Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Beck, Foo Fighters, Mumford and Sons, Eddie Vedder, Nora Jones, Tony Bennett, and Neil Young. Now, my kids LOVE music….I mean they can spot a White Stripes song on the radio in about 5 seconds. But, 9 hours on a crowded lawn, with 22,000 other people, caused some pretty heavy anxiety in me!
Now, I am not a calm person. Crowds completely freak me out. My kids, unfortunately, take after me and not my easy-going husband. But, together we were all able to enjoy this fabulous day, like none I can remember.
How did we do it? Well, let me tell you….
- We brought grandma with us. My kids are obsessed with Jason’s mom, Sandi. She rocks! She entertains the kids like no one I know. This was key to a successful day.
- We brought Uncle Doug, Aunt Kim, and cousins, Lily (4yrs) and Maya (2yrs), Lily and Maya are the most easy-going kids I know. They have been going to the Bridge School Benefit since they were in utero. They have been known to fall asleep in a wrap during a Stanford football game. They brought their A-game, so it rubbed off on my kids for sure.
- Coloring books, crayons, stickers, and glow-in-the-dark bracelets – all great distractions during quiet time between sets.
- Snow cone bribe at 2pm, ice-cold lemonade bribe at 4pm and 6pm, lollipops from Grandma at 7pm, and backpacks full of snacks throughout the day. Nothing keeps a kid happy like sugar, salt, and otherwise-forbidden snacks. It’s like expensive wine for adults.
- Playing in the water fountain for 25 minutes. It was really hot, the kids had sweat dripping down their faces, and nothing says fun like spraying your face in a public water fountain. Great diversion!
- We danced like crazy, paid more attention to them than I had done in weeks, cheered and giggled, and let them each have a melt down without making a big deal of it.
All in all, Jason and I were able to share one of our great loves….basking in the glory of live music….with our adorable children. My cup runneth over!