You’d think I’d be used to my life being defined as a ‘comedy of errors’ by now.  All I need to do is say, “I have 4 boys.” and women look at me with sympathetic eyes and a sorrowful expression while David is usually greeted with enthusiastic smiles and a thumbs up from other men.  It has been this way for years and in my mind, I’m completely at peace with the chaos, fist fights, and screaming that comes with the territory.  Yes, that wonderful place in my mind where nothing bothers me and I am the picture of cool, calm serenity.  I handle every shriek, little fist thrown, and tear with a smile on my face.  Ok, Ok, Ok!  I am nothing even close to that but it’s the effort that counts… although I’m a little short on that too,

Saturday was a beautiful day.  I mean completely breathtaking.  David and I had the idea to drive to the Lyndon B Johnson Ranch as a fun excursion for the day and because I truly, truly love it there.  It’s my happy place and if I could live anywhere in the US, it would be a home built somewhere on that ranch.  I excitedly grabbed my camera gear and went to find the boys.  As soon as I tell them we were leaving for the day, the reaction was mixed.  Most of them met the idea with some mild element of curiosity except for our second son, William.  The first question out of Will’s mouth no matter where we are going is, “How long is it going to take to get there?”  Anything over 5 minutes is met with a shriek and that he can’t handle getting to the car because his legs don’t work.  Considering this place is over an hour away, William put up quite the dramatic fight.  On the way, things were less than peaceful.  This is nothing new but nonetheless annoying.  William and Colin were play/real fighting in the back seat.  Sometimes they were laughing (which was fine – but borderline too loud), other times they were screaming and crying (which is not fine and way over the top too loud).  After having to lay the law down, we managed to drive to the ranch without much of a hitch, the only problem being I really needed to use the restroom.  For whatever reason, we entered from a different spot and found ourselves on a slow-moving driving tour of the ranch.  All of this would have been well and good except for the bathroom component.  Some cars pulled over to take pictures but we were made to forge ahead until we reached the gift shop where there was a bathroom waiting for me.  I exclaimed that we would have to do the driving tour all over again so I could get the pictures I missed but David said we could just walk up the road since the best part was the field with the cows nearby.

Now I will interject that this was not my favorite idea.  No, there were not a lot of cars that day but I was sure that this was against the unspoken “rules” and that we were not allowed to walk back on the driving tour.  But David insisted this would get some energy out for the kids and that nobody cared.  So I decided to make the best of it and take out my camera to change the lens, even though I was grumbling under my breath the entire time.  Then, to my dismay, I saw that my camera battery had completely died!  I was crushed!  All the beautiful pictures I was planning on taking would now have to be taken on my phone and there was nobody else to blame other than myself.  I am pleased to say however, that the day was simply too beautiful to be disappointed for long!

The walk to see the cows was typical for our family.  Nathan was tormenting William, who was screaming and running away before trying to sneak back and get his revenge, which just kept the same cycle going over and over again.  Nothing I seemed to say or do stopped the madness between those two.  When we finally arrived at the cows we stood there staring for a while before trying to get a couple of pictures of the boys all together.  This was our big mistake.  Getting these four to stand in a ditch and stare at a camera proved to be too much for them.  William didn’t want to stand next to Nathan, who was scared of the ants.  Colin hopped right in the ditch but didn’t want to pose for a picture.  Owen can’t stand anywhere for long but he seemed to be faring the best out of the four of them.  In the end, this is the best we got.

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The rest of the trip was spent going on the trails, climbing on vines, catching lizards, listening to Nathan talk about politics, hearing William scream that he was tired and that his legs couldn’t make it back to the car, Owen screaming at Colin for scaring him, and me dreaming of living on a massive ranch, in the open fields, where nobody cares how loud we are… thank goodness for daydreams.

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