I remember how I used to spend Friday evenings in my pre-mom days. Dave and I would often take a short nap to kick off the weekend. Then we’d talk over our favorite takeout, and most Fridays we’d end up lounging with lattes at a cozy cafe.
Our Fridays are nothing like that anymore. They revolve around living room wrestling matches, mealtime mayhem, sloshing baths, and nursing sessions. There’s really nothing relaxing about them. From the moment Dave gets home from work, we’re in “go, go, go” mode and doing our best to reconnect as a family and cram recreation into the small chunk of time following dinnertime until we launch into the girls’ bedtime routine.
One thing I love about summer is how the days are longer, so we’re able to spend more time outside before the sun sets on us. This past Friday we went on a short nature walk as a family. The girls were delighted when we discovered a patch of wildflowers growing adjacent to the retaining pond in our development. We could hear the rush of cars speeding by on a nearby highway (you can almost convince yourself the sound’s coming from a waterfall and not a steady stream of traffic); yet, we found ourselves in the midst of natural beauty. (As a country mouse living in a city for the time being, I’m ever-so thankful God plants reminders of his creation everywhere even in the green shoots sneaking out of the cracks of urban sidewalks.)
When we returned, Dave grilled out for dinner while the girls and I threw ourselves into a fierce water balloon fight. When a balloon the color and shape of an eggplant burst in Madeline’s arms, she looked at me through droplets of water pooling on her flushed face and said, “This is so much fun!”
And it was.
It was a Friday where simple pleasures ruled and while I certainly had no time for early evening snoozing and there were no plans for a quiet cafe visit, somehow I was able to unwind all the same. Once all the girls were asleep, I thought about our fun evening together and was reminded that nothing – no other experience and no amount of money or sleep or frothy lattes – will ever compare to the simple joys my children bring me.