We've hardly had time to catch our breath lately. The start of school meant the start of dance classes, piano, full-time work, and barely enough time to just be in the moment. After the first week, we settled nicely into the routine and it didn't feel so hard. Granted, the house is a mess and dinner has been a mish-mash of whatever is in the fridge and quick. I had forgotten what the hustle and bustle of working and tending to the family is like. I don't love it, but I see how, for right now, it's what we need.
The frenetic energy of our days means that in the evenings and weekends I try to be as present for the kids as possible. The connections with the kids is important because their time with me has been cut so much. Getting just a little bit of undivided time makes everything else go smoother.
This past weekend we found ourselves with a day that had no plans. We decided to head out the door and to a new park/lake. The kids played a little bit on the playground and Mark and I had some time to breathe without the background noise of bickering siblings. We wandered around the lake and the kids threw rocks in the water. Naomi took off her shoes at every chance, preferring to ground herself on the shore line with bare toes.
This lake has paddle boats that you can rent and we spent time on the dock watching the young workers try out the rescue jet ski and maneuver all the paddle boats into the water. I spotted something swimming in the water and it turned out to be a baby snapping turtle. It found it's way to the loading dock and Naomi went right down and snatched it up. This little visitor was a bright spot of the day and we spent time passing it around and sharing it with other lake visitors. We found a quieter spot with more protection and let it go. All of the kids wanted to keep it. I kinda did too, but how do you tend to a snapping turtle when it gets bigger??
Mia begged to take out a paddle boat. With five of us we weren't sure we could do it, plus, we anticipated it costing more money that we wanted to spend. But, once the offices opened, we realized they had a couple boats that would work for us and it only cost $9. So, we went for it. Mark and I paddled and the kids enjoyed the views.
It was one of those times that saying YES to a plea for adventure really paid off. There was no bickering, no grouchiness. Just all of us out on the water, chatting, laughing, telling stories of Loch Ness creatures.
We ended up heading to lunch, ice cream, and a pinball arcade after.
We didn't want the magic of the day to end.
We have some more adventures planned in the weekends coming up and I'm so excited to get to spend more time with just the 5 of us.