Sometimes having so much parental power is exhausting. Constantly making rules, setting boundaries, following through with consequences – it’s all a little daunting at times. There are days I don’t even like the rules. Who said you had to make your bed every morning? What if I don’t want to brush my hair? And if all I really want for lunch is salt and vinegar chips, then why waste calories on the sandwich? So every once in a while, it’s nice to use that power to mix it up a little, do something unexpected.
There was more to Monday than just a crazy class party and a warm, fuzzy card from my husband. I was really dragging by the time the school bell rang at the end of the day, and the thought of going straight home to hit the homework was not appealing. However, our house rule is no fun after school. Okay, so maybe not that extreme, but certainly no T.V., video games, friends over or time wasters in general. Don’t judge. If you have little kids, trust me, things will change. And if you have older children, well, you understand. It didn’t used to be that way. There were a few years in there that the minute their little feet hit the pavement off the bus, scads of kids were at my house having a snack and playing outside. But that was before soccer, swim team, play practice and gymnastics. When your week is loaded that heavy, there isn’t much time for anything else. We even tried to only let the kids be in one after school activity at a time, but apparently I should have qualified that with, “and that activity can only take up ONE DAY a week” .
As we made the short drive home, I had a thought. There was at least one and a half whole hours unscheduled that afternoon.
(God forbid I should just enjoy the down time.)
“Hey – what would you say to some hot chocolate and a treat?”
A quick detour to the house to grab The Tortoise, and then all three of us girls were on our way to Panera. There was almost no-one. It was so quiet I almost felt like I should be whispering or checking out books. The Hare got her favorite, a salt bagel with cream cheese and a chocolate milk, The Tortoise ordered a muffie top and a hot chocolate. I truly am trying to be better (lost 2 lbs by the way) and only ordered a tall coffee.
That was it, there’s no quirky ending here. It was just a quiet afternoon catching up on school and friends. We giggled about silly stories The Hare told and jokes The Tortoise had heard. I discovered that my crazy smart third grader has been helping a special needs child in her class with math and got caught up on who likes who in seventh grade. There were no deadlines looming, or practices to get to in a hurry. I just got to listen to my kids. I got to be still.
As we were leaving, I remembered that my little camera was still in my tote bag from our last gymnastics meet.
“Wait!” I interrupted, “Let’s take a quick picture to remember this day.”
“Ok, “said The Hare, “But I always remember the days when you break the rules.”
Obviously, I need to do that more often.
**So, in honor of my rule breaking attitude this week, I’ve decided to consider all Pajama Day stories. In other words, if you write it, I will post it. (Yes, that is my not so discreet way of saying that I haven’t received very many entries.) I have far more readers, apparently, then writers visiting my posts. However, the time frame will still be adhered to, so no responses will be considered after February 25th. All updated information is posted in the “sticky note” on my home page and in the Contest and Giveaway Tab.
**Don’t forget to at least enter the $45 CSN Gift Certificate giveaway though, that contest is totally intact. (I am a rule follower at my core, you know.)