Free Weekend vs. Sick Kid

By some miraculous alignment of the stars we had a free weekend.


No baseball or softball games.


No birthday parties.


No somewhere we had to be, no something we had to do, no nothing.


It was going to be sunny and warm and we were going to take advantage of a beautiful, wide-open weekend with the excitement of limitless possibilities.


And then my daughter woke up Saturday morning with a 104? fever and stomach ache.


That’s why this framed quote by John Lennon – that I live with great irony all too frequently – stands on my entry way table:


Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.


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After seeing Night at the Museum this last winter, my kids were itching to go to a natural history museum and check out its fascinating offerings for themselves. I knew just which one to take them to.


Growing up in the Bay Area it was grade school field trip tradition to hop on a BART train and head to Golden Gate Park and San Francisco’s Natural History Museum, Steinhart Aquarium and Morrison Planetarium all in one location.


So when the miraculous vacancy in our upcoming weekend appeared, I pounced on it staking claim to an impromptu (well, as impromptu as this busy family can get) educational excursion.


When I proposed our own family field trip, my kids squealed with delight. My mom heart swelled with pride over their choice of cultural expansion over another cookie-cutter kiddie flick. (Can you say Alvin and The Chipmunks?)


Hubby was a little more reluctant, but inevitably on board. “I guess if this is the only weekend we can do it, than we should do it.”


“Our weekends are booked until 2009.” I held up a calendar so covered it penciled, penned, highlighted, blocked off and circled notations it looked like it could’ve been Oprah’s schedule – totally missing the overbooked forest for the trees.


“It would be nice to stay home for once though,” Hubby mumbled before giving the universal team player sign – a double thumbs-up and plastered on smile.


I was so proud of my brilliant idea and spontaneity, plus my children’s obviously refined tastes in recreation. I boasted to every mother I bumped into about our upcoming plans.


That is until one mother told me, “You might want to check the California Academy of Sciences website. I believe the museum’s closed for reconstruction until September.”


I like to think I would’ve checked the website before we left for hours of operation and pricing to perfectly synchronize our trip. But if I’m being honest, despite trumping me with her genuine cultural supremacy as opposed to my faux refinement, this woman just saved me from having a hornet’s nest of disappointed, annoyed and highly agitated road-trippers sitting in front of a closed San Francisco Natural History Museum this last weekend.


That and a 104 degree fever.


Once again, life saved me from myself.

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