A few things Mama learned during Spring Break

I’ve been a bit remiss about blogging during the past week, but cut me some slack. It was Spring Break, and even though we stayed in Tallahassee, I was bound and determined to make it a memorable week for the kids. We went to the Tallahassee Museum, a traveling carnival in the mall parking lot, visited a creepy Easter Bunny and had a practice egg hunt with our friend EJ and his mom. And during the course of the week, this is what I learned from my kids:

Beans will grow absolutely anywhere … except in a plant pot. I planted a pot of them too early in the year, sat the pot in the weak sunlight of one of our back windows and watched their sad little sprouts reach feebly for the light before withering and dying.

Billy, on the other hand, scattered dry lentils liberally around the yard while playing with them. (He likes to scoop them up out of an empty coffee canister and filter them through his fingers.) Now we have a yard full of wild lentils. It’s kind of a beautiful metaphor really: Wherever he skips and plays, life springs straight up out of the ground.

If you push a double stroller with 75 pounds of child in it, you don’t need any other workout.

It’s really hard to explain the Easter story about Jesus’ resurrection in a child-friendly way. Billy still gets upset when the Backyardigans go over the rickety bridge. It’s much easier to explain why a rabbit delivers eggs (because he’s magic).

Easter egg coloring can be really boring. Egg peeling, though, is a great sensory activity.

Florida panthers are not black. But they are incredibly beautiful. Foxes sleep in the morning. So do alligators and skunks and black bears. They sleep a lot. And yelling, “Hey, bear,” doesn’t wake them up. I swear, though, one of them lifted up his paw and gave me the equivalent of the bear middle finger.

Yoga is a lot more fun with a kid. “Namaste” (NAH-mas-TAY) is Billy’s new favorite word … followed closely by “Mamaste,” one he made up which seems to mean “Mama should do Downward Facing Dog while I jump on her back.”

Carnies don’t care about autism. If you’re taller than 48 inches, you’re not going in the spinning teacup.

The mall Easter Bunny is still just as terrifying as he was when I was a kid. To me.

The entire Disney “Cars” story, all 782 words of it, by heart. We read it at nap time and at bed time every day. I’m starting to see secret messages in the text, like the Da Vinci Code, Pixar-style.

Every moment can be a teaching moment — but every moment doesn’t HAVE to be. Sit down and take a deep breath sometimes. This was Billy’s lesson to me when he laid down on the floor in the middle of a lesson about rabbits and how mammals don’t actually lay eggs, put his hands over his ears and begged, “Please stop talking!” After that, we went outside and had a shaving cream fight.

And finally and most importantly, I learned that I can do this. I’m not proud of it, but at the beginning of the week, I was terrified of Spring Break. I panicked that I wouldn’t be able to handle having both kids home all day every day, that Billy would somehow regress and become more autistic, that I would take him back to school on Monday and his teacher would ask, “What did you do to him?”

Instead, we’ve had our best week ever. Yesterday morning, he jumped into my bed, threw his arms around me and shouted, “You’re my angel! I love you so much!” I can’t wait until school lets out for summer.