Grady and I surprised the kids with a visit to the Great Wolf Lodge here in Charlotte. Monday morning we told them we had a surprise but wouldn't give any clues as to what it was. We nearly pulled the entire top-secret operation off until just before it was time to leave. My nosy five year old discovered a suitcase in our bedroom and promptly shuffled through it until he discovered his pajamas and bathing suit.
Grady Lee: "Mom! Are we going to a hotel?"
Me: "Well, Dad and I are going away for a night so we have a bag packed."
Grady Lee: "But I saw some of my stuff in there, too. Am I coming?"
Me: "You and Micah and Annalyse have a surprise this afternoon, and then later Dad and I are staying at a hotel and you're going to sleep at Miss Heather's house."
Grady Lee: "Oh. Well I can't wait to see what the surprise is!" And he bounded off and continued playing.
(Hi, my name is Sarah. I am able to look my child directly in the face and lie to him without flinching. In fact, I am able to lie so quickly and so easily I really ought to be face flat in confession, but instead, I'm rather proud of my quick wit.)
After our short drive we pulled up in front of the Great Wolf Lodge and listened to two boys excitedly howl ever so loud, and ever so shrill, and ever so annoying.
The boys were instantly mesmerized with the large animals and outdoorsy decor. Micah asked if we were "at a place to see animals that have been hunted?" I assured him that wasn't the case and that better things were in store.
Grady tried to check us in but our room wasn't ready yet so we took a walk around. Once the boys laid their eyes on this sight the rest was history. "This is so super cool!" "Did you bring my swim suit? Can I get wet right now?" "Is this the real surprise now? I think I'm more excited than even Christmas and my birthday!"
Since we didn't have suits handy we enjoyed some onsite attractions while we waited for our room. The kids colored and explored...
Goodness gracious - where to begin? So much to do and it all looked equally fun! Grady and I took a backseat and just followed the boys from place to place while they explored. The 84 degree room and water made getting wet all the more fun on a January day.
We were done with breakfast and ready to go before the water park was open so the boys enjoyed cartoons in bed while Annalyse got a short morning nap. Win.
Melanie: Pray tell, how did you get such amazing pics of your family when you were there? And to think you did it while chasing five kids!)
His tongue was out between his teeth in deep concentration. His little arm muscles were in full flex. He refused any help from Dad. And he ignored laughs and comments from the big kids in line behind him. Over and over he wanted to do this and each time he was his own little man.
It's these super simple moments that give me a small sigh of contentment because even though he has a range of social issues, he seemingly isn't one to worry about what others are saying or doing. And this at-times-overwhelmed-with-that-child mom needs all the simple moments of delight I can find!
My kids have been fast asleep since 7:00pm since swimming and splashing had them totally wiped out, and I'm sitting here typing through a slight fog that I think is due to chlorine overload in my eyes. No Majestic Bear Suite tonight, but it's always good to come home to my own bed.