We needed a day off. As much as I felt compelled to go all hard hammer mom and push more lessons and make sure all the chores were done (they never ever seem to be done lately) and drill sergeant them into submission, I fought the urge. We haven't been enjoying each other these last few days and while my first instinct is to try to fine tune and problem fix, there are times when I've learned that the answer (or at least a coping mechanism) is to take a step back and have the day off and remember, at least a little, why I'm doing this all in the first place. Besides, these glorious May days when the sun is shining and the parks are virtually empty can't go unused. That's one of the best perks of homeschooling, I say I believe. The freedom to seize the better even if it's not in the plans. So instead we had a just because we can sort of day.
We went to Mass and then headed to one of our favorite local parks.
There were only a few other people and the boys had a ball climbing the rocks and playing chase and throwing rocks in the pond and trying to lure the ducks.
I could hear them squealing and playing and saw them running full speed down hills and climbing tall ravines and resisted the urge to tame them.
The sun shone down and it was good.
This guy hung back with me and soaked it all in.
It's prooobably not all that virtuous that May is one of my favorite months as a homeschooler because the weather is (or should be) glorious and (if I can peel myself away from the tasks) we get the parks and neighborhood to ourselves. The schools don't get out here until late June.
The other things and tasks are important, yes, but so is this. Playing, wading, climbing, yelling, exploring, being free.
I wish I had all the time and energy in the world to give to each one of these boys. But God makes up for what I can't give. I trust in that.
We snacked at the park and then I found out that my brother-in-law's food truck was right in the area which was clearly divinely inspired for our just because we can day.
But first I
forced them casually took some pictures of all of them. If I give you a day off of lessons, you can give me a few smiles...
"No knowing where we're headed next until you smile like you mean it!"
A better spot and you can barely see the coercion ;) Kinda kidding. They're not too bad but I definitely don't feel guilty about using the promise of fried wontons to get them to smile for a nice picture. That's totally not bribing. Not at all. It's incentive.
We stopped and shared some treats from the truck before heading home. Then later I got to visit with a friend before we ate dinner and headed back out to a baseball game for Michael. We may or may not have used up some of the saved concession tokens we had for an ice cream splurge. (May.)
I know now that it's naive to think that one simple little splurge of a day will make everyone's attitudes perfect and vices disappear (not that I still don't hope) but at the very least these days give us a bit of a break from the grind. If I let them, they remind me why I put in the work and time that I do with these little people that I've been loaned. They give all of us a chance to take a step back and realize that while lessons and school have their place, so do waterfalls and parks and soaking in the sun and simply taking a day off to just embrace the gifts and freedom we've chosen.
Just because we can.