Friday, March 22, 2013

Parks and Flowers and Stuff

We had an overabundance of free time this week thanks to the Stanford Test: a
standardized test given to school aged children in our state.  Because the kids were busy
testing all week, the teachers were kind enough to give them a break from any and
all homework, tests, projects, and after school activities.  Parents often talk about
how difficult it is to raise little babies: the sleepless nights, the frequent feedings, the lack
of mobility.  But I, personally, find the school age phase to be more difficult.  Isabelle is a
busy, busy bee and our whole family is busy as a result.  We spend most afternoons around
the kitchen table calling out flash cards, reading stories, and solving word problems.
Shawn and I take turns carting her to and from her various activities, enjoying our moments
in the car as they give us time to talk and catch up.  She is growing and becoming her own
little person, a girl with lots of interests and friends and talents.  She enjoys being out in
the world, learning new things and putting herself out there.  It can be tiring, though,
moving from one thing to the next, working all day and then coming home to another
busy schedule.   And so we relish weeks like this one, weeks when we can come home and
just enjoy each other.  
Isabelle welcomed the break to just be free and Shawn and I enjoyed the chance to just
enjoy our kids.  As luck would have it, spring decided to appear on our doorstep just in
time for our "break".  We took full advantage, heading outside every afternoon as soon
as Isabelle stepped off the bus.  We took long walks, went to the park, and rode our bikes.
Side night: our kids rarely play at the park.  We live on 4 acres, a yard big enough to
have adventures far and wide.  Our friends and family all have big yards as well and all
this open space is why we left the city to move home.  Why would you drive to the park
when you can just step outside your back door and enter your very own wonderland?
Of course, since we don't do it often, going to the park is a VERY exciting adventure for
our kids.  The novelty of it, seeing all those big play scapes and hanging out with new kids,
they think it's the coolest thing.  It's the little things that make them happy, the
coloring outside the lines.  Doing little things like that, slowing down a bit and abandoning
our routine for a while, those things keep us young.
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Randalin said...

I'm so jealous of all the sunshine in these pictures! It looks like an amazing week. Everyone seems so, so happy!

Olivia said...

It's been beautiful!! Sending some sunshine your way, friend!