Tate FarmsI don’t usually plan my days. Especially my days off. I like to go with the flow of things, let my heart wander. I guess I’m a bit adventurous that way. Things get frustrating when I plan my days and then something happens it throws me off. Flexibility. It’s a skill.

So today, the last official day of my girl’s Fall Break from school I wanted to do something fun. Just us girls. They had already been camping with their grandparents. They had already been to friend’s houses. It was time for me to just enjoy my girls. But they don’t ever agree on anything so finding just the right outing was going to take a miracle. Good thing I believe in miracles! After a small debate we decided that we would head to a local farm to go pumpkin picking and hay-riding and drink cider and stuff. We’d pay way too much to take silly photos of ourselves to make our friends jealous on Facebook that we got to play in some corn. It was going to be a great day.

So we drove. We turned the music up in the car and we drove. And the whole time I am looking at the darkening sky and praying that the one day we decide to go and breathe some fresh air it doesn’t rain on us. And my girls are in an unusually good mood. It’s a little strange, the whole thing really. Too good to be true. Surely the rain will run us off.

When we arrive I am so excited it’s a little ridiculous. I  mean my children are getting along. The weather is warm. And my hair looks good! I take a moment to snap a picture of my photo reluctant girls at the entrance before we even buy our tickets. This was going to be awesome! Memories in the making!

So, we walk up to the ticket booth so we can pay to pet a goat and a very sweet woman eating from a brown bag of popcorn approaches us and asks if we are with the school group.

“Nope, it’s just us!” Just cool, we’re doing something fun, us!

“Well, we don’t open to the public until later.”

“Uh, what? Really?” But did you see how well my girls are behaving? Have you seen my hair? I can’t waste this!

“Looks like we’re going to be getting some rain anyway. I’m sorry. You can come back later.”

So we turned around and slinked back to the car. Deflated.  We didn’t even get to pick some cotton.

And all the while I am apologizing to my girls. Here is another example of why I don’t plan things, but sometimes I really should.  Had I checked the hours ahead of time we could have avoided this whole scenario. And my girls wouldn’t be disappointed and I could have shared my good hair day with someone who really wanted it!

Plan B. But you know what? I think it’s really good to have a plan B. Or not.

Sometimes, I think we all need a little disappointment in our lives. Sometimes it’s better to learn to be content without the pumpkin you picked fresh from the farm and happy with the one you buy from the corner grocery store.

Life is filled with disappointments. I’m just so glad today all I had to worry about was pumpkins. Tomorrow it might be a person who disappoints my little girl.  One day it might be that she doesn’t get the job she really wanted. If my children learn how life works now, when it’s not so overwhelming and they still have my arms to fall into they will be able to handle the hard knocks more easily when they come. And they will come.

But not today. Today we celebrate our lack of pumpkins over cheeseburgers and laughter. Tomorrow we worry about life.



Bethany Donham

Bethany E. Donham is married to her high school sweetheart and the mother of two beautiful teenage girls. She is a full time Minister to Preschoolers and Families, but has a passion for guiding others to see the world with a Biblical perspective through her writing.

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