One of the many benefits to the company I work for is its innate desire to create a family-friendly environment for the staff. Our office has roughly 25 people in it, so every year a fall outing to a local pumpkin patch is put together for the family and friends of everyone employed. This year's event was this past Saturday and boy did I learn some valuable life lessons.
Something to know about me is that I'm borderline obsessed with The Weather Channel app on my phone. Since having Adelyn, I open it probably a minimum of 10 times a day (they terrify you when you leave the hospital with your newborn telling you how they can freeze to death so easily; and I left the hospital in the middle of a 90-something degree with 95-percent humidity heat wave!). Needless to say, whether it's to check the temp at the current time, check what it's going to be like in two hours or to see what the rest of the week holds for us, it's pretty much my go-to app when my hands are searching for something to fidget with.
I happened to take planning for last Saturday even one step further than my app. All week the forecast for Saturday was between 45 and 48 degrees, with those same temperatures lingering over us Monday through Friday. So being my prepared little self, every day I made sure to go outside on my lunch break to see exactly what 45 degrees felt like and determine how that differed from what 44 and 47 degrees felt like.
How, then, did I screw up so terribly on planning for the 48 degree day we had on Saturday? Let me tell you: 20 mph winds, that's how.
I'm a city girl. Appleton is by no means a big city; in fact it probably barely even qualifies to be titled a city at all with its urban population of just over 73,000. But there are buildings to boot, especially encompassing the downtown condo building we live in. When we stepped outside Saturday morning and felt the breeze that made its way through the building surrounding us, it felt nice. A little chilly at best. After all, 48 degrees is no winter storm!
Then we left Appleton. We drove 25 minutes outside the city to a quaint little farm that specializes in its summer strawberry picking and fall pumpkin patches and hayrides. We gathered in the barn (I know, how Wisconsin of us to hang out in an old, empty barn) where there was hot food, soup, snacks, hot apple cider and hot chocolate. After some food and socialization we climbed onto a hayride that truthfully looked more like a train of hayrides and headed out to one of the many pumpkin patches on the property.
Oh my gosh. Brr.
Just like that we were in the middle of an open field with 20 mph winds and, of course, as soon as the hayride pulled away from us a grey cloud came overhead and dropped just enough ice cold raindrops to make me feel like the most inadequate mother in the world. Despite the jeans, long-sleeve shirt under a zip-up hoodie layered under yet another zip-up fleece hoodie with socks, shoes and mittens, in that moment I was sure my child might freeze to death. At the very minimum go home with frostbite on her toes.
Obviously neither of the aforementioned scenarios happened.
My picture-perfect "plan" for the afternoon was to get some cute family pictures on the hayride then capture the smiles of our little girl as we showed her different pumpkins in the patch to choose from, all on a perfectly sunny, windless, 48 degree fall day.
Even though that didn't happen and we didn't spend as much time as I had imagined picking out a pumpkin for Adelyn, we still snagged a small one for her along with some gourds and a mini pumpkin. All in all, Saturday served as a reminder to me that I continue to need to work on letting go of my desire for control.
We came back home, chilled to the bone, and I made homemade chicken and vegetable soup while Adelyn napped and Husby warmed up on the couch with Kiva, our little 6-pound Morkie. What started as a hectic, cold afternoon, turned into a cozy, relaxing evening. And even though we didn't get those picture-perfect snapshots I envisioned in the pumpkin patch, we did get a few pictures with Adelyn's first pumpkin right outside our condo building.
If you look closely, you can even see her smile behind her pacifier as she holds up the gourd all on her own. I’m learning…slowly…to continue to embrace the imperfections. Because at the end of the day I still get to come home to this perfect little family.
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