I’m sitting at McDonalds writing. Getting shit done. While my kids are entertained. Not by me. Who cares if McDonalds food are made with processed ingredients, when they have an enclosed area where I don’t have to watch my kids? Lets be honest.
Being an introvert (a term I’ve come to resent no matter how truthful), going out of the house is not generally top priority for me. It’s a chore. It’s “UHHHH I have to shower and put a bra on!” and soooo many eye roll emojis. But my kids could not feel more opposite. “Mom can we go somewhere?”
“What? Out? Why? No!”
“Please, Mom, can we just go on a short drive? We don’t even have to go anywhere.”
Staring into my sweet extroverted daughter’s big, ocean-green eyes, I knew she was craving stimulation. She was desperately hoping to play with someone. She recently told me about 2 friends she met at the park and with sad eyes said, “I’ll probably never see them again.” She’s the literal definition of never-met-a-stranger.
I knew I didn’t really have a good reason not to go. I knew the park was out of the questions if I had any intentions of working, because despite its always promising plethora of things to entertain my children, they always still seem to want me to play. But the enclosed play area at McDonalds popped into my head, the way divine and unexpected ideas often do. Why had i never thought of this before?
“Ok, Children. Lets go to McDonalds.”
She asked again what this place was called when we pulled in the parking lot.
I have to say, hearing the question “what is McDonalds?” was sort of a proud mom moments for me. My kids have never eaten McDonalds. Only sad meals for them. Having food allergies keeps us from eating a lot of the go-to fast food places. But I’d still take great pride in our abstinence and pretend that it’s just my unwavering commitment to feed my kids real food–like gluten free pretzels from Aldi. AHHHHH yes, my love. Let me tell you about this money grubbing organization, with their Big Macs, and their pink slime, the germ infested play structures, and their creepy mascot clown. But as quickly as my self-righteousness geysered up I remembered this Facebook post I scrolled past today. A little toddler girl had never been given processed sugar by anyone in her LIFE! (And there were pictures to prove how unsugared she was—but she looked pretty damn normal to me.) And all I could think was: “ugh what assholes!”
And really how different was I, with all my self-righteous “we ain’t never been to McDonalds” fist pumps. And shed and her parents with her sweet little unsugared little body. In the end we all just do what’s best for our families. Maybe you eat sugar and McDonalds everyday but you actually want to play with your kids at the park? We are all just trying, right?
**Later that night as I was laying my kids down, we said our nightly prayers and gratitude. My sweet girl said “thank you God for taking me to McDonalds.” And try as we may, as hard as we can, we might not end up getting credit for it anyway.