I'm a self proclaimed planner, a calendar note keeper, a list maker. Being organized is my life line, it's the only way that I can be a full time working mom and do all of the things that I WANT to do as well as the things that I NEED to do. Keeping everything consistent and neat and tidy keeps me sane.
But, there are most definitely times when you just have to say SCREW YOU to the plans and the lists. Sometimes, you just have to go for it: jump off the edge of the proverbial cliff and just do something unexpected. Be wild and free and spontaneous. It feels good all the way down deep in your soul when you adventure off the beaten path, it makes you smile and laugh and feel alive again.
One Saturday this summer, after all the chores were done and the baby was down for his nap, I sat in the living room with Shawn and the girls and not a single plan in sight.
"Hey, girls. Want to go to the lake with me? Just the three of us?".
"You mean, like, right now?!" they asked me, confused.
"Yes, right now. Let's go!!!".
They scrambled up the stairs so quickly that they both nearly tripped over each other. Before I could get up and start moving, they were standing in front of me in their swimsuits with beach bags full of toys and snacks. They were so excited and I couldn't stop laughing at how efficiently they packed up the car and loaded up their rafts and called out to me to HURRY UP, MOM! Their mother's daughters.
We kissed Daddy goodbye and laughed when we realized that we forgot the ice chest in the garage. Who cares? We don't need it. I let them pick the music and then danced to Katy Perry with them as we made the drive through the big pine trees to the lake. They had never been to this particular lake, a spot I had spent many Saturdays at with my dad when I was a little girl. They asked me a million questions on the drive up: what does it look like? Are there sharks there? Can we go fishing? Will there be lots of sand? They were so happy, so excited, so thankful to be with me. It was amazing.
We parked the car and made the walk down the stone steps to the clearing that overlooks the water. They literally gasped when they saw the little swimming hole I had proudly brought them to. "This is awesome!!!!!" they shrieked in their little girl voices, making a mad dash to find a spot to camp out for the rest of the day. And camp out we did. We played in the sand, swam for hours, enjoyed a picnic lunch, threw the football, and bonded: mommy and daughter girl time. Something we don't get to do very often, something we should do more. They were the happiest little girls that day, happy to see me happy. I felt relaxed, rested, complete. I felt like a better version of myself: not the tired, overworked, stretched too thin version of myself but joyful, easy, free.
I didn't have a watch, we just played until the sun started to set and then we played some more. We packed up the car and hugged each other tight and called Daddy to let him know that we were headed home. Shawn and River greeted us in the driveway with big hugs and genuine excitement to hear all about our day. We were together again and that felt good in the way that reuniting always does.
Sounds simple, right? Just pack up the car and go. But it's not always that simple because we are in a very busy season of life. So I don't spend very much time feeling guilty for not being a spontaneous super woman. I am a super woman in many ways but being spontaneous is not my strong suit. But some days, I can surprise myself. And my kids, too. I can just say screw the busy and let's just go. And those days are surely moments we will never forget.