Summer time…a time to slow down. It is the best time of the year for kids. Swimming for hours at the pool, staying up later, going to the movies, bowling, camping, trips to the beach, visiting family, spending every waking hour just being a kid.
For Becky and I, it is a time for us to enjoy making these memories with them. It is a time to keep them a little younger for a little while longer. However, most days seem to be filled with summer camps, sports, chores, work, etc.
This weekend, we had one of those perfect days that I dream of a parent. No yelling, fighting, crying or arguing. It was a day just for our family to spend some good quality time with each other and to have some fun.
We started the morning with family time at home. We all had breakfast together and then did some family chores (each of our kids have chores and no one complained on this day, so it was already starting out right). Then we packed and went up to Becky’s parent’s house to go boating on the lake (You can watch the video of Jack & I tubing here). We went tubing for a little bit, swam for a little while in the lake and at the pool, and the kids played “EXPLORER” on a local island- they really just search for cool rocks & shells to bring home.
We then took the rest of the day and surprised them with a special treat. We went out for an early dinner and then went to see the new movie, The Secret Life of Pets. We went a few towns over to an old historic theater that had a balcony. There was an option to sit down below, but the kids really wanted to sit in the balcony (and so did Becky & I). Since some of the kids were still so small they could hardly see over the balcony railing when they were sitting in their own seats. Instead of moving, Becky sat though the whole movie with Allie (3) sitting on her lap. I also sat with Beau (8) and Ethan (6) on my lap the entire movie. Jack is almost as tall as Becky, so he had his own seat and could see just fine.
Even though my legs and feet were numb from having 80 pounds on my legs for almost two hours, it actually made the movie more enjoyable to hear the kids laughing during the funny parts and squeezing my arms during the exciting parts. Plus, Beau and Ethan made me sit there with my arms draped around them like a blanket to keep them warm.
On our way back to the car, Jack noticed music playing outside. Sure enough, there was a live band playing in the town square and they had food trucks lining the streets. I felt like it was something you’d see in the movies: People sitting on the lawns with no where to be. Just living in the moment. Taking time away from their busy lives to just enjoy good company of family and friends.
Days like this don’t seem to happen as much as we want them to. With everything that we have going on, it almost seems like we rush through life.
However, today was a reminder that as parents that we need to slow down and enjoy these days with our family.
Becky sent me an article a month or so ago, by Joanna Gaines, and in that article, Joanna wrote:
“The young stage my kids are in is the sweetest. Chip and I are their favorite people and they still stop what they’re doing to greet us at the door when we get home. I really want to savor this season for as long as I can. When I get home from work I try and leave my phone in the car and make that intentional effort to play and connect face to face with them. Even when I’m tired at the end of a long day, it’s fuel to see the look in their eyes when I ask them to cook with me or go play outside. As a mom, sometimes I have to change my mindset and remind myself what’s important. I only have so many hours a day to spend with these sweet, little people. And they won’t be little forever. So I get up and keep moving”
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