“You never get tired unless you stop and take time for it.” – Bob Hope
As a Stay-at-Home-Mom, I have aspired to be anything but. I value the time spent at home, but I like to get out in the world with my kids…and today delivered.
I coordinated a small group of my immediate neighbors to join a neighborhood-wide clean-up. This meant collecting the tools soon after breakfast and bicycling down to Garbage Bag Central to get the city trash bags, so they’d pick up the refuse at the end of the day. The crew gathered for a brief time and went out to their stations. I had my 3 and 5-year-old sprouts with me, and they were game for the adventure. It is always inspiring to see how easily they take to community volunteering; without any set example of indifference or non-participation, they are civically-active little ones. We found tossed out disposable cameras, candy wrappers, reading glasses, and…wait for it….a ponytail. Drivers-by slowed down and chatted us up and I connected with several neighbors I don’t get to see every day. It just felt good to do good.
This brought us to lunch time. My husband hadn’t had a laborious start to his day, so he suggested a mountain hike for the afternoon. Meh. But it was an abnormally warm and sunny day for late January, so we loaded snacks and kids into the car and drove east. Let me say that I think my kids are super-human. My three-year-old walked straight up a rocky incline, “I am the Weader! I am weading the way!” It was a busy trail and we spent as much time letting others pass as we did hiking, so when we came to a fork in the trail we took the lesser-traveled path. It was quiet, lush, and the forest felt like it was ours alone.
I have been struggling with how to instill a “Growth Mindset” in my daughter. I can wrap my head around applauding her effort rather than praising her achievements, but it can be challenging parenting a young girl who wants to give up so easily. So much can be learned in the outdoors; Daughter was curious how far we were walking, so my husband drew her a map of the loop and explained that we wouldn’t be doubling back over the terrain we had traversed. One concern begat another, but I kept repeating “One foot in front of another”. Eventually, she got it (I’m still working on that life lesson.) and before we knew it, she had walked close to five miles. Peaceful drive as the kids slept on the way home? No chance – all that clean mountain air fired them up.
Kids bathed. Dinner served. Teeth brushed. I figured that I’d fall asleep with the kids after laying down in their warm bed. I woke up thinking it might be 2 a.m., but alas it was only 8:15 p.m. My neighbor had fired up the sauna, so I snuck down and stewed for an hour-and-a-half. Sauna conversations have proven to be one of the greatest ways for me to connect with others this year. It’s dark, warm, and closed in. I feel safe to share more than usual in there. And so I did. Perhaps I should feel tired, but I feel like I bit off a great bite to chew on. I’m ready for another bite.
What would you plan for your ultimate weekend day?