Heading back to “normal.”

The wind was brisk but my girls spent their days after new year’s trying a new outdoor sport, skiing. I signed them up for private lessons and as my winter-averse better half entertained the three year-old in the chalet, I tried to photograph their first movements across the snow watching them shuffle along following their instructors before clicking my boot into place to try and fit in a couple of runs before their lessons were done. What a feeling of satisfaction and pride I had as a parent seeing them both barely look back at me as they went up the magic carpet. 

Spending some time setting my personal intention for the year of finishing my novel, I feel it’s just as necessary to set an intention for our family. To take time to play each day. That could mean something simple as doing puzzles with my little guy or taking my girls out skiing. 

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Getting the girls ready for school this morning, dreading the icy cold that has come down upon our town, I realized the part of my day I was looking forward to was some special playtime with my little guy. After all, September will be here soon enough and off he will go to kindergarten, five full-days a week. I could not remember the last time I had floor time with any of my kids. I have cherished memories with Elizabeth of our year together at home, Audrey’s first few years there were definitely fewer of these instances, but I do remember reading and singing to her a lot.

However, little Jacob, being the third child, although receiving lots of attention from his sisters, has had me as more of a chauffeur taking him along for the ride or to an activity. This winter seems to be a perfect time as the temperatures drop to intend to have some sort of playtime each day with the kids. 

The last few weeks being home with all of them, although a part of me was looking forward to settling back into a regular routine, I missed the impromptu dance parties in pajams, hearing my girls come up with their own little games or their hilarious conversations. I miss having those rare days where we just decide what we are doing that same day. January is already being scheduled as people seek out playdates and dinners. 

Elizabeth was in tears before bed last night, feeling the pull towards wanting to go back to school to see her friends and teachers but it was intermixed with sadness that vacation was over it resulted in my usually calm nearly eight year-old gulping back sobs. As I stroked her hair trying to calm her down, I explained to her we all feel like that. 

So today, as I scrambled to finally get the last of the decorations off our tree, clean out the cold storage, organize our mud room a little better and make that dreaded trip to Costco to stock up on essentials, I took some time. I had a coffee lingering over lunch with Jacob and then we played, placing puzzles pieces together before story time before I went to attack the never-ending laundry. What a nice, tiring but satisfactory first day back to normality. 

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