Today was my first official day on summer vacation duty (Matt had the day off yesterday so I'm not counting that one). Today was the first day of the normal summer fare: a one to three, mama to offspring, ratio, ages 8 1/2, 6 1/2 & 3 1/2. Today was a perfect day for Experiment #1.
We have been in baby / toddler mode for what seems like f-o-r-e-v-e-r. And as all mamas know, babies and toddlers are only so portable before they cry or need a nap or go all limp noodle on you. So, truthfully, Mady still does all these things on occasion, but with preschool looming in the fall, I feel like somehow this summer is a different ball game. She can make it without a nap, we rarely use a stroller anymore, and she's potty trained (um, kind of).
So today we set off on our first adventure. Nothing big - just a little Art in the Park deal our little town was putting on. A summer or two ago it would not have even crossed my mind to attempt such a thing. (Honestly, once upon a time we were fairly mobile. And then Kid #3 entered the scene and our lives have never been the same. Now I'm old and tired and an outing means leaving the house and going into the front yard.) This summer is different, friends. This summer we can be spontaneous. This summer we travel light. This summer we are happy little campers who beam like rays of sunshine.*
*This last bit is a lie. We complain a lot and cry more than we should. But I'm already brainstorming ways to work towards becoming "rays of sunshine." Stay tuned.
Honest to goodness, friends, we had fun. Free, not-too-hot, not-too-busy, dare I say, educational FUN. (Did I mention it was free??) We bounced, played on the 'nastics equipment, created crafts, learned a little, contributed something to the world around us, practiced our manners, explored our city, and actually enjoyed ourselves and each other.
So I guess Experiment #1 of Surviving Summer (let's call it, JUST LEAVE THE HOUSE) was a success. I had no idea if this little event would pan out to be anything and the fact that it turned out to be fun is besides the point. We set out on a little adventure together, tried something new, and seized the moment. (The alternative was to stay at home all day and endure endless hours of I'm bored, sibling poking wars, and Disney / PBS marathons.)
Two things. One, we very often leave the house to meet up with friends or family. It's the whole idea of leaving the house together, just the four of us, that's a little bit new. Two, I'm not suggesting we're going to leave the house every day this summer in the name of survival, but I am saying it is time to come out of the eight year semi-hibernation we've been rocking. We're mobile! And diaperless! And all speaking in sentences! Let's celebrate, friends.
So there you have it. That was our day. And because I was so happy about all the free, family fun we were having, I bought six raffle tickets as we were walking out for $5...and ended up winning three raffles. And just like that I'm feeling positive about summer again. Time to put the "vacation", back in summer vacation, mamas. Here we go!