“Best Day Ever!” – Take The Kids And Do The Things


It’s a random Tuesday afternoon. I finished with work early, so I grab my kids from school sooner than usual. Once they are strapped into their seats, I look back and ask, “Who wants to go get hot chocolate?” They grin ear to ear and yell, “The hot chocolate store!!!” So, we stray from our typical routine and head to a local coffee shop. After placing our orders, we grab an open table and take our seats. Seconds later, one kid has to go to the bathroom, so we gather ourselves and take a trip that takes several minutes longer than it should. When our drinks arrive, the three-year-old refuses to drink his treat because they “don’t have marsh-a-mallows.” Someone has to use the bathroom again – back we all go. Three-year-old crawls around like a cat, making friends (aka invading personal space) with customers throughout the restaurant. Six-year-old starts “saving” the three-year-old over and over as he repeatedly falls off the bench “into the water.” I’m beginning to question my decision for this outing when my six-year-old looks at me with a huge smile, “Mommy, this is the best day ever!”

There is something amazing I’ve noticed about my kids – no matter how chaotic an outing may feel to me, their memory seems to often remain that it was the BEST DAY EVER! If I can embrace the chaos (while trying to do our best to respect the boundaries of those around us…) and avoid completely losing my temper at each little stray from how I think they should behave, then they continue to live their best darn lives. They will talk for days about the simplest thing that remains the most fun in their minds.

I know you’ve all had those outings. You know, the ones that leave you swearing you will never leave your home with your children – ever again. The ones that leave you believing your children will never get along. They will never be grateful. They will never listen. Will they ever listen?! But I’m here to encourage you to keep taking the kids and doing the things. Because sometimes, amidst all the chaos, they will be creating those best day-ever memories.

It’s a night out to dinner when we run into my daughter’s kindergarten teacher. My children can’t contain their excitement. They spin wildly in circles next to our table and proceed to sing “Dominick the Donkey,” loud enough for at least half the restaurant to hear. “Best day ever!”

It’s Christmas at the Zoo in the freezing weather. No one can feel their hands, and it’s too cold to sit and eat. But we find the most adorable little penguin and chat with Vacation Santa. No one wants to go home. “Best day ever!”

It’s a trip to the library where my children can’t seem to stay in my line of sight. Books are dropped. Someone is hungry. Someone else needs to use the restroom while I’m trying to check out. But we eventually make it home with a stack of “new” books and snuggle up together on the couch to read. “Best day ever!”

It’s a hike at a nearby state park. Someone sits down, pouting with arms crossed, before we even make it to the trailhead. But we find a walking stick and eventually some running water. The trail becomes more difficult, and an exciting adventure ensues. “Can we come back here all the time?” “Best day ever!”

Every outing isn’t going to end up as wonderful as I imagined it would be. Sometimes it’s going to be difficult to find the courage to brave the unknown again with these unpredictable little people while I still have lingering memories of a particularly exhausting trip. But here’s to shifting perspective. I’m choosing to focus on the magical little moments in the simple things. I’m embracing some of the chaos instead of trying to squash it at every turn.  I’m going to keep taking the kids and doing the things. We’re going to keep making these beautiful “best day ever” memories. And I hope you do too.

best day ever hot chocolate


  1. This is so sweet, Sarah. A good reminder to me to take the kids out even when it’s stressful.

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