One of the things I’d like to change about myself is my tendency to get bogged down by the day-to-day things of life, such as trying to keep on top of my and my kids’ messes, figure out the best way to organize stuff, etc. I’m a bit of an organization junkie in my mind, but in practice I always seem to fall short. So I spend too much of my precious time and energy trying to keep things neat and organized, and most of that time I am failing miserably. And that makes me cranky, which makes me cranky at the kids (whom I subconsciously blame for the mess, I’m sure), which makes me want to hole up on the computer looking up better ways to stay organized, which means the kids are off someplace making more creative messes, which I’ll later get cranky about . . . and the cycle just continues.
I’m not proud of it. But there it is. It’s not the most romantic or dramatic of challenges, but it’s what I struggle with the most in my day to day life. Honestly.
So today I decided that what we needed was an impromptu outing, early enough in the morning so that we wouldn’t have to rush for Isaac to get home to nap. So at 9:30, we grabbed a water bottle, my purse, and the Ergo and headed to Willowbrook Wildlife Center. I’d heard it was a good place to go to see local wildlife that had been rescued, but I didn’t expect it to be so cool! We saw so many amazing birds – golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, several kinds of owls, a bald eagle – along with a fox, a bobcat, a cute sleepy racoon and other cool creatures. And it was all either inside or along a very shady footpath, which made all of us happy. The girls loved it. And I loved it. And Isaac rode happily in the Ergo the whole hour or so that we were there.
Most of the time we do trips like this with friends, but now I’m not sure why. I mean, it’s fun with friends, but there was something really nice about it being just me and the kids. We marveled together at the amazing animals, and delighted in our surprise at how lovely it all was. I think we needed that connection time, doing something fun and interesting together, totally focused on the experience without the chaotic excitement of a social outing. I sort of assume that because we are homeschooling that we get that kind of bonding time more than we actually do. But we really haven’t lately, and it’s made a big difference in everything – how the kids interact, how I interact with them, how I feel about homeschooling, even how I feel about the inevitable messiness of it all. This afternoon at home some funny things happened with the kids and I found myself feeling giddy and belly laughing with them. I haven’t felt giddy with the kids in a while. It felt good. Refreshing, like getting together with old girlfriends and laughing like you did when you were younger and sillier. The kids need to see that side of me more.
So, goodnight Good Day. Thank you for helping me let go of things I needed to let go of and hold onto things that need my full embrace.