frozen fantasy in lights


Every year we take the boys to see Fantasy In Lights at Callaway Gardens. Honestly, it’s a tradition I could do without. As an adult, riding the jolly trolley through five miles of twinkling lights is exciting exactly once. The next year it’s meh, been there. But to the boys it’s like a new experience every time, and we continue to take them back because it’s worth the joy in their little faces. Cliché, but true. 

So I wasn’t about the skip the tradition this year, even though half the team in is Iraq. While my sister-in-law was visiting for a few days I recruited her to go with us and help me keep the boys’ arms and legs inside the jolly trolley. Unfortunately and unbeknownst, we picked the coldest night of the year to spend an hour on an open carriage.

Even though Jack and Jon were packed into about four layers of clothing, nothing could combat the sub-freezing temperatures. Not to mention the wind chill. Oh, the wind chill. Which made 28 degrees feel like 12 and turned our jolly trolley into something a lot less jolly. Also, I had these grand plans to take spectacular pictures of the boys, their mouths hanging open in wonder and eyes reflecting 8 million lights. Not happening (hence the picture above, that has nothing to do with this post). Number one: I couldn’t feel my fingers. Number two: Jonathan the grouch was parked in my lap to prevent him from leaping out of the wagon. I tried and failed to convince him it was colder on the ground than in the truck and I listened to his mantra for 5 miles:

“Go hoooome! Nooooow!”  

This experience was the epitome of poor planning during my four years of motherhood. What was supposed to be a night of magical excitement was more like Jack asking for the millionth time when it was going to be over and Jon wondering how I managed to devise this new form of torture. If my kids were any less tolerant, we’d have had a disaster on our hands. But we somehow scraped by. And just as Jon had decided he’d had absolutely ENOUGH, we pulled back into the station, hopped off the jolly trolley, and beat feet to the car.

Halfway home, Sharon looks at me and goes “I hope this experience hasn’t scarred them.”  And I’m all “Nah, they won’t remember anything but the show.”

Except this morning when I said “Jackson, how was Fantasy In Lights?”

“Way. too. cold.”