The Man of the House and I took a day trip. Just a few hours to Charlotte, NC for a baby shower. It was a great day to ourselves. One of my favorite parts of a day without kids is eating when WE want to eat. Those of you who have kids, do you get that?
For the most part, our house is not child centered. These angels were born into our family and have adapted- in a kind of evolutionary process- to the way Heath and I do things. A survival of the fittest, if you will. They've done well. They are still alive... and so are we. All this goes out the window when it comes to food. When the blood sugar drops, the demons come out. They are whiny and nasty. The results are almost immediate, however, when they eat. Food goes in, the child returns to their original state of loveliness. Because of that, meal times are pretty regular. We can stray a bit if something is going on, but for the most part, we eat when they need to.
So I love that part of being alone. Eat if I want. Don't eat if I don't want. Perfect.
Now. Let me get back to what I really wanted to say.
We had a small army of great people who passed our children on and off. Even a one day trip can get crazy when we try to arrange childcare. Heath and I are so grateful for the people in our lives who will sacrifice their Saturday to schlep our kids around and we never worry. Ever. And it is a blessing. The kids love packing their stuff and getting the rundown of the agenda and planning what they will do with each set of people they will see. Even the oldest, who is pretty change averse, loves going with the flow on a day like this. And to spend the night away from home?! LOVE. This happens a few times a year and it really is refreshing for everyone.
The one part I NEVER get right, I am NEVER prepared for, is when they come home. Heath and I stayed up too late, got up too early to fulfill responsiblities at church, and were a bit cranky when the change over happened. Within minutes, there was a fight over the TV, one asking to play on my phone, and fake tears. Minutes. We barely got a synopsis of the 36 hours before we were kicking them out to play. Why can't this happen smoothly and without incident? WHY?!
"Dad, can you come out with us?!"
"YOU?! MOM?! REALLY?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?! THIS IS AMAZING!"
This response was overwhelming and convicting. I don't go outside enough. I just don't. I get stuff accomplished when the three are off playing... and sometimes I want to be alone. But it was so obvious that I need to find a balance. It was, like, shock and awe that I was stepping out of the house. We were outside for just a short time before it began to rain and we had other things to do, but I learned more about them and saw them in their world.
The Oldest is so happy with a ball in his hands. I mean, so happy.
The Middle knows what a bassoon is and can recognize one in stick form. (He also can throw a football like a beast. Can't catch at all, but he can throw.)
The Princess really needs to learn to open her eyes while catching a "fitball." (Her word, not mine.)
It was 20 minutes. And it changed the mood of our house. For all of us. I'm not sure what that means and what my commitment will be, but I'm going outside more.