Best laid plans - MetroFamily Magazine
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Best laid plans

by Callie Collins

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

Oklahoma City family fun takes place rain or shine. Which the day will bring is difficult enough to predict in our area this time of year. The same can be said for just how the best laid plans actually take shape sometimes.

Yesterday was that day: nothing we had planned worked out exactly as I had in mind.

Sam and I were up with the sun because I had promised him that we'd go to breakfast together before dropping him off to join his second-grade class. The day already seemed like a nice contrast to this season's first tornadoes just the night before. One-on-one time has become more important since the arrival of his brothers, Isaac, 3, and Gabriel, two months. He was an only child for nearly five years and I still like to so sit down, slow down and really ask "How are you doing?." That's something I see the value in with all three children individually but only Sam knows to miss it so far.

We left the house talking about the bagels we'd eat and the coffee we'd drink. My husband is from Costa Rica, where children drink their milk with coffee at breakfast. It's about an 80/20 ratio but that's enough to look forward to each morning; the coffee's more custom than actual caffeine kickstart. We were talking about sharing a latté and had settled on a French toast bagel as the traffic slowed. The flashing lights of emergency vehicles could be seen beyond the stoplight. An accident blocked the road and the line of idling cars started to pivot away from it, the hurry of a Thursday morning pushing us all to move on quickly. One-way lanes have a way of becoming unusually full and school zones only add to the usual morning hubbub. 

"Mom! We can't get through? But I didn't eat breakfast because we were going to breakfast," Sam fussed as I raced back toward home, the same streets we'd just passed. The line of cars snaked back through with us and the usually smooth commute to school had already taken twice as long. I eyed other drivers, parents and professionals anxious to get where they were going, everyone in such a rush.

"No, I'm sorry. I can't get over there and we're out of time now. That's a bad accident, which means someone is having a much worse day than we are right now," I said, trying to stir up some empathy. It was too late to go back home or anywhere else. I made a conscious effort to stick to the strict 25 miles per hour that seems to govern all we do at 7:50 in the morning. I glanced between the odometer and the clock. "I know you're hungry. Can you just take something out of your lunchbox?" 

Sam pulled out a squeezable apple sauce and I saw his disappointed expression in the rearview mirror. 

"I thought we were going to have a special time together." His voice sounded hollow.

"I know. I thought so too," I said and then remembered that Oklahoma Contemporary was having an opening that night. "Hey! We could go see some art together instead. Would you like to do that tonight?"

Sam brightened. It was a deal and something to look forward to doing. 

The day passed quickly and I picked Sam up with the showroom premiere in mind. He opened the car door and made an announcement: "Mom! I can't go see paintings with you. Dad's taking me to martial arts." He was right. It was Thursday and that's what he does on Thursdays. 

I thought we could take a walk when he came back. The beautiful day had turned chilly, though, and we turned back after just one lap around the neighborhood to put on jackets. Three rounds and half the usual time later, we were done. It was too windy and almost dark out.

All I could think to do was to plan something for the weekend instead. MetroFamily's Weekend Picks newsletter always has something for us to go and do. Its 10 weekend events and five community activities going on the next week are what MetroFamily's editors determine to be the best in the area. We'll try again tomorrow. Story time at Cuppies & Joe might fill in for breakfast and H&8th Night Market is back for the first time this season. Easter egg hunts are also getting underway, which would give us some time outdoors. Another nice feature of Weekend Picks is that it also includes the current forecast.

Here's hoping the weekend is just as we predict, beyond just the weather. 

P.S. You can also find local family fun on MetroFamily's calendar any day of the week. Click here for the full listing.

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