Monday, September 1, 2014

Cedar city - the tradition continues

Its been many years since Chris and I were able to go to the Utah Shakespearean Festival with his family. We were all very excited to be able to make it this year. We only had 2 and a half days of plays but we were still able to see and do a lot. Chris and Edward and Grandpa were able to go golfing two of the mornings. It had also been many years since Chris was able to participate in the illustrious ILLCRIC tournament put on by the AGA. He did pretty well! (INSERT CHRIS' OR SPORTS WRITER FARFEL MILLER III's DETAILED RECAP HERE). 

While he was golfing the kids and I had breakfast in the hotel lobby and swam in the pool with cousins. 

As for the plays, We were blessed to have babysitters (thanks Edward, Kayla, Dixie and Jess!) for Chris and I to get to see some plays together. We saw a Monday matinee of 12'th Night, then Chris went to the evening performance of Henry IV Part 1 while I wrestled the kids to sleep in the hotel room. The next day I saw the matinee performance of Sense and Sensibility. It was fun to see a book I love so much as a play, but it just made me want to read the book and watch my favorite movie version again. Tuesday Night we took Alec with us for the evening performance of Comedy of Errors. 

Jess was taking Mady to the same show and it was fun to see the next generation initiated into the Archibald tradition of Shakespeare plays.  The siblings were cute as they simultaneously explained the play's plot to their oldest children who listened well and sat still with serious expressions. So precious to watch traditions being passed down.  The play itself was set as a western and had lots of body humor, I loved hearing Alec and Chris laugh out-loud. There was one particular part that I really enjoyed when one of the silly 'Masters' was slapping his 'servant' for something and the servant spun his head in the wrong direction of the slap. It looked unscripted as both actors paused for a second in shock and started laughing! It was hilarious. Live performances are just awesome. 

We took the kids to the Green show one night and Chris was sooo excited when he learned they were bringing back the puppet show he used to watch as a child, 'Punch and Judy.'  

Again, seeing traditions passed down from my husband to my kids was fairly magical to me. 

The next morning we had to check out of the hotel and then run off to the family Picnic with the festival's founder, Fred Adams. Chris' Aunt is his daughter and since this festival is a larger Woodward family yearly tradition they always have a picnic with Fred.  We hadn't yet gotten in the traditional shopping at Christiansens and the Cedar City Deseret Industries, so we squeezed those in and BARELY made it to the festival for our last and final show. We were taking all the kids (except Frederick) to Into the Woods. Alec and Charlie did great. Gwen....euuhh... she wasn't old enough to appreciate it yet.  We had watched the Broadway video version with Tiffany and kids a few days previous so the songs and story were familiar, but it also prepared us for the second half of the play that was full of adultery and death. So because we were also driving the 20ish hours to Texas as soon as the play was over, we decided to just watch the first half. It was a good decision. 

It had been a long, fun and full trip and we were ready to get our van back from the body shop in Texas and get home.  We drove straight through the night as we were sort of on a time crunch. Chris drove until 2 ish when we stopped at a gas station to try and sleep for a bit, but Frederick woke up with the car off and I tried to feed him over and over again to keep him quiet so Chris and the other kids could sleep. But by 3:30, I was getting annoyed and told Chris I would just drive for a bit so Frederick could fall asleep. Surprisingly I was feeling ok, and drove until about 8:30 AM when Chris was a bit refreshed and ready to drive while I fell asleep. But its hard to sleep while all the kids are awake, cranky from many late nights in the past 3 weeks and tired of being in the car. They demanded attention and being very cranky myself, I didn't handle their squabbling very well. Two moments stand out in my memory...

At one point, after harping on them over and over again in a not kind voice, I reached a breaking point and turned around to deliver some very strong words.  Seeing their 3 pouty, sad faces made me stop and it was like my eyes were opened and I saw them through new eyes. I saw 3 adorable, tired, troopers who had been strapped to seats for the past 15 hours. Instead of more complaints I smiled and gave them compliments and how great they've been for most of our trip and remarkable they were in their car-trip stamina.  It was like I could see their agitation melt away and they unfolded in the bask of my praise. That moment was a real blessing from God. 

The peace didn't last forever and I started to crack again during breakfast. Usually the kids do really really well, eating in the car, but in the span of 30 minutes, Gwen had spilled her Chocolate milk all over her car seat and the car's seat and Charlie accidentally dumped his yogurt down his seat. Having just battled a nasty smell in the car before our trip, I was SO FRUSTRATED about the dairy spills and so tired from not much sleep that I started ranting as I leaned over the seats and used wet wipe after wet wipe to try and get everything clean. I realized I was behaving poorly and I knew it was mostly just tired so in between rants about how gross and hard this was to clean up I apologized to Chris and the kids saying I was just tired and I'm sorry.  The boys had been playing a shooting game at each other across my head as I leaned over to clean it up and at one point I slumped back and  half growled under my breath, "just shoot me!" The boys heard me and went still with serious eyes, watching me in my distress, and then looked at each other as smiles spread across their faces. Simultaneously, they turned their finger guns at me and at the same exact moment started making shooting noises as they "shot" me many times. It was too funny to pass up and I started laughing, which made them laugh, which made Gwen and Chris laugh. I'm sure it wasn't so much true laughter as it was relieved chuckles that I wasn't still so angry. Its interesting how laughter really can defuse stressful situations. Another blessing from Heavenly Father. As was this huge, beautiful double rainbow we saw somewhere between New Mexico and Texas. 

1 comment:

Amy said...

I'm so glad you included those two experiences on the car ride home where you had a MOMENT!!! It reminds me of a story I heard on a Power of Mom's podcast where she was in the same state of mind as you--frustrated and tired, and she turned around to her kids who were bickering in the car and said "We are done, D-U-N, DONE!" She immediately realized she has mispelled it and everyone started laughing. The laughter diffused the situation.