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Finding Perfection in the Imperfect Moments

Mygirlsmothersday2010This year for Mother’s Day my husband asked me what I wanted to do. I thought about it and told him I would love to take the girls down to Laguna Beach, walk around a bit and then get a margarita with chips and guac at the Hotel Laguna on the deck. Perfection. 

I romanticize about my Laguna outing all week and finally the day arrives.  We pack up the car for what could be a week.  The STUFF necessary to pack for kids on any given outing astounds me.  Cheerios?  Check.  Dipes? Check. Stroller? Check.  Baby food? Check. On and on… But we get packed up, loaded up, and on our way.

As we approach Laguna it seems like everyone and their mother (no pun intended) had the same idea.  Lots and lots of people and lots of traffic. But what was I expecting? After all, it was a GORGEOUS afternoon and we live in Orange County.  

Our 4 year old falls asleep in car just as we approach Main Beach.  Great.  But, turns out she gets a good catnap because it took forever to find parking. We finally find a spot, several blocks up a hill, and get unloaded. I am in new flip flops that are super cute, but aren’t quite broken in, so the hill is looking a bit daunting.  But I suck it up as I feel a blister forming.  It’s my perfect afternoon so I walk with a smile! 

We get down to Main Beach and it is SO CROWDED.  My oldest attempts to play on the playground there, but can barely get a turn on the slide. Tons of BIG kids.  She is over it and tells me she wants to build a sandcastle.  We are not equipped for sand play, but we acquiesce and go down on the sand.  

First thing baby does is pick up a fistful of sand, which goes directly into her mouth and subsequently all over her face and in her eyes.  Then 4 year old starts to complain she is too hot. So I have a sandy baby and a whining 4 year old and I decide it's margarita time.  

We make our way to the Hotel Laguna. Right when we walk in, I smell the smell.  Baby has pooped.  Big one. We go swiftly go to the women’s room and I find there is no changing station.  Husband tells me I should go out to this courtyard area and change her on one of the tables out there. I look at him like he is on crack because there is a WEDDING ceremony set-up!  What?!   

At that moment, I ironically run into a girl I used to work with years ago who now works at the hotel.  She tells me she has a one year old and seeing that I am now talking to a fellow mommy, I ask her if there is a restroom with a changing station.  She tells me I can do it in her office and do I have a changing pad?  

Yes, I do. Conveniently located in the trunk of my car.  Up that hill.  It never fails, with ALL of the gear I pack, it is the ONE thing I forget that I actually need!

I get baby changed and we make our way to the deck to find a table. We get a few looks from fellow patrons as we walk in with our stroller, all the gear and two little ones.  But it’s 5:00pm, not prime romantic dinner hour, so give me a break!  It’s MOTHER’S DAY weekend and I will have my margarita and chips if my kids scream or not!!  And, if they do, I just might have two!

But they didn’t.  They were both SO good.  I got about 45 minutes out them. And I had my drink and some REALLY good chicken nachos amidst plastic placemats, baby food, spilled Sprite and cheerios looking at the ocean with my family on a beautiful OC day.  

And even with those imperfect moments, to me it was the PERFECT afternoon.

This is an Original Post to the Orange County Moms Blog.  

When Jennifer is not gallivanting with her family on perfect (yea, right!) outings, she can be found blogging about her outings at her personal blog for OC moms, Tiny Oranges.  You can also connect with her on Facebook or follow @TinyOrangesOC on Twitter.


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