Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Aimless Days

There's nothing like a mid-week day off. There is no pressure on a Tuesday. You don't have to go visit people or take a road trip. No need to feel particularly productive or rushed. Although on Monday night my mom and I debated possible ways to spend the gift of a day, in the end everything just seemed like a little too much work-- too much driving, fears of fighting rush hour traffic, places crowed with kids home from school.

I frequently feel pulled between two ideas that seem fundamental to good parenting: the idea that children (and parents) need unstructured playtime and relaxation, and the idea that children need to be exposed to as many places, people, and ideas as possible. It seems like any given weekend or day off, I have to decide between those two needs. Do I take my kids to Harper's Ferry, a museum, or the zoo or do we sleep in and spend the afternoon building forts?

Yesterday, started with pancakes, if that gives you any indication of the direction we took. Pancakes are not how you begin a  productive day. 

When it was finally late enough in the morning to knock on the neighbor's doors, I took a pack of kids down to the beach. Sunday's winter coats were left at home, and even shoes were quickly abandoned.  Logs were hauled. Bridges were built. Streams were forded by little boys unable to balance themselves across swaying beams

We didn't do anything new or novel. It was the sort of thing we do over and over again throughout the year, during every season. And it felt great.

I realize the scales have tipped towards the unstructured and the relaxing as of late. I blame it in small part on pregnancy. In the upcoming days and weeks, we will do our best to venture beyond our edge of the world. But as for yesterday, I have no regrets.


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  2. The beach looks so pretty with the colors changing. These are the times, like when I see the kids at the beach on the off season, where I unpack that golden idea of ours and show it to Matt for the thousandth time...."Let's move to Chesapeake Beach." It still sits in my mind, bouncing up and down, waiting to scream "Hooray! You chose me! Chesapeake Beach it is! Wahoooooo!"

  3. Hi Rachel! Hope you're well, and congrats on your pregnancy! I was checking out your blog last night, then saw this piece in the Times this morning and thought about you. I'm not sure what I think about everything she says, but it's kind of thought-provoking. (But then, isn't the point of the article that we are kind of already too focused on this topic, so thinking more about it is falling into the same trap? Gah.) Anyway, I think the author would probably say you seem to be striking the right balance :)

  4. Also-gorgeous pics! Are these cell phone pics, or do you have a real camera?

    1. Thanks. It's a real camera. Nothing makes you feel like a wanna-be artist like lugging around a giant camera you barely know how to operate.