I am learning a lot of things from the Brady Bunch re-enactment happening at my house this summer, but one thing I now know for certain is that blending drinks is surely easier than blending families. Both, however, make a hot summer day a lot more interesting.
The challenge for me this summer has been learning how to be a parent to kids that already have parents. It is as tricky as it sounds.
Parenting my own three girls along with my husband’s three kids is an intricate dance that requires a lot of fancy footwork to figure out when to compromise, when to give in, and when to hold true to what I think is best as a parent.
My new kids like sugar cereals and potato chips and boxed macaroni & cheese, but I like to shop at the farmer’s market. I now have two video game loving boys, though I haven’t owned a television (on purpose) for more than six years. Even my idea of a good time requires negotiation: Libraries vs. Movie Theaters.
A few weeks ago, I decided to take all six kids to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe, I thought, is a guaranteed good time. It is beautiful, unique, and full of things to do. This will be fun, I thought.
We headed up Museum Hill to the Santa Fe Folk Art Museum. The first five minutes were good, but the rest of the day we toured the museum to a chorus of: This is boring. When can we go? I’m tired. I can’t walk anymore.
Yes, this parenting thing is a tricky dance and sometimes I have two left feet.
What I am realizing, however, is that it helps to keep the end in mind. In the end, what I really want is to be a happy family.
I can’t stop being who I am or change the values that I hold as a parent. I also can’t change my new kids and I wouldn’t even want to try. I just want to love them.
With love, I think everything will turn out okay.
About a week after the incredibly boring museum outing, the boys found a recipe card I had picked up from one of the displays for “Agua de Sandia.” They were interested because the mountains near our house are called the Sandia Mountains, which means Watermelon Mountains in Spanish. I explained that they got their name because they turn pink like Watermelon when the sunset hits them every evening.
“Can we help you make it?” they asked. So we did, and it was really good in more ways than one.
|Mint and Melon Agua Fresca||
- 8 cups loosely packed seeded watermelon chunks
- 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 1/2 cups ice cold water (or lemonade, or sparkling water)
- 1 or 2 squeezes of fresh lemon juice (optional)
- Puree the watermelon in a blender in small batches, adding the mint leaves to one of the batches. Pour the juice into a large pitcher.
- Stir in the water or lemonade and chill for at least one hour. Pour over ice in tall glasses.
What is your idea of a fun summer outing?