For the last two weeks, today had been blocked on my calendar. I had planned to finally take my children to a certain amusement park with a half a dozen flags. Our beloved former sitter, Storey, who has been serving as a missionary in Europe, is home for a stint visiting family in Atlanta. It was a win/win: An extra adult would be available and we'd get to spend the day making memories and catching up.
But this morning when I logged on to buy tickets I experienced sticker shock. For six of us to go to this particular park carried a $300 price tag. (I have since learned of countless discounts that require a little bit of planning ahead.) The weather forecast for the afternoon looked a bit dicey--and I just couldn't justify gambling with that expense.
When I sat the children down to explain my reservations, they were crushed.
"Mom, you promised!"
'We don't want to go anywhere else."
"We are the ONLY kids in our class who haven't been."
Even as I tried to explain why the expense was unwise there were tears. My disappointed children were too consumed with what they wanted to hear any reason I had to offer. (Sound familiar?)
I felt torn between disappointing little people by breaking my perceived promise and what I felt in my heart was the right thing to do.
We had a wide open day and still wanted to spend quality time with Storey, so I found another option in Atlanta for half the price with indoor activities in the event of rain. Although we all felt a bit frustrated by the change in plans we went forward...and we had a blast.
While I don't know what a day at the other park would have looked like, I just cannot imagine that the more manufactured experiences there could have been any better than our outdoor, active day. There were no lines. Sunshine and quality time were in abundance. We enjoyed ropes courses, hiking, mini golf, butterflies and countless other kid-friendly activities. As my friend, Christina commented, it was John 10:10 living.