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my day off

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I had the day off. I realized at some point that it was opening day of the Sarasota County Fair. It seemed like the perfect thing to do. I could get away from my half-finished to-do list and the kids would be entertained.

When we arrived, Bella met up with some friends so Little Roger and I started to explore.  I used to love going on rides, but they haven’t been agreeing with me for the past couple of years. My eleven-year-old was a little bummed that he didn’t have a companion for the amusement rides.  Trying to be nice, I went on the ferris wheel. That was pretty much my limit. When we came to The Scrambler, I knew there was no way we would be able to stay at the fair if I went on it with him. He said he would go by himself. He got in line. The girl in front of him turned around and asked, “Do you want to ride?” He nodded. I wasn’t sure what was happening and I don’t think he was either. The ride operator opened the gate for them and Roger followed the girl to a car. She motioned for him to go in first. As he was climbing in, I wondered if I should stop him and tell him to get on one by himself, but I let it go. I was mesmerized by the situation. She climbed in after him and they buckled themselves up. I don’t think there was any conversation between them other than the initial question from the girl. As they were waiting for the ride to start, Roger made faces at me as if he was also in disbelief about where he was sitting and who he was sitting with. I couldn’t stop laughing. I acted like I was texting on my phone when I took the picture shown here. Just looking at it makes me laugh. Once the ride started, they both laughed. As it went faster and he started to slide into her, I could tell he was feeling uneasy. I really felt for him, but it was really funny!

Roger had brought a few dollars of his own money to spend in case he wanted something that I wasn’t willing to buy (smart boy). At one point he goes to use the restroom. Upon returning, he tells me that he tipped the restroom attendant. “What?”

“Yes,” he says. “He was very helpful and he had very worn clothes.”

“You don’t need to do that, and how was he helpful?” I replied.

“He gave me a paper towel to dry my hands and he made sure all of the stalls were clean. I think he might be homeless. He needs it.  He was so thankful that he said, ‘God bless you’. I feel really good that I helped someone.”

This child never ceases to amaze me with his compassion and generosity. He went on a couple more rides and we ate some crappy food. It was great! There were farm animals, motorcycle stunt shows and plenty of games. We spent hours just wandering around. No agenda, no time frame. We were lost in the moment and in that moment I felt wonderful.

When Bella had enough of her friends, we reunited and slowly made our way through the fair exhibits and back to the car. I feel very lucky that despite the fact that I often have no idea what I am doing as a parent, my kids seem to be doing well. They are growing up to be more than I could have ever hoped. Days like today help me to see that there is a balance point and that every once in a while, I hit it.

Nutritional tip #8-Use your blender. Blending fresh fruits and veggies with some coconut or other nut milk and some spices can be a yummy meal replacement packed with nutrients. A frozen banana makes it thick and creamy. When my bananas become overripe, I peel and freeze them so I can have a smoothies any time. My favorite green smoothie recipe:

  • 1/2 frozen banana-sliced in chunks
  • 2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 handful of any berry
  • 1 cup milk (I prefer unsweetened almond milk)
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • a few shakes of cinnamon

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

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