We had a great weekend. The kids were off school on Friday, and Thursday night we were all home, playing tickle, eating pizza, and enjoying each other’s company. As the older kids get older and we are busier, I find I NEED these times. They feed a deep hunger in my soul to hear my kids laugh and play and have no agenda other than to find Dad’s weak spot (arm pits). I also find these times connect me in a powerful way with my husband Dennis. I find him irresistibly attractive when he’s abandoned to playing with our kids. If he only knew...(or maybe more appropriately, If only we we could ever be alone...!).
Friday everyone went different directions. This is so typical of the differences in ages around here: Neal (12) got to go with his small group to a Switchfoot concert. Allie(14) went to the high school football game with friends, Dennis and Libby (9) went to see a friend’s son play another football game, and the little girls and I spent Friday night watching Meet the Robinsons.
Saturday was perfect. Everyone was home again. The big kids were not happy, but I made everyone get up and go to Libby’s (9) softball game. The sun was warm but the air was crisp and it was a beautiful fall day. Annie(6) made a sign and cheered for Libby. Too bad she was deep into playing with Ruthie and missed her in-field home run. The big kids didn’t, though, and I could see Libby beam when she realized it was her big sister Allie who was cheering the loudest.
After the game we resisted the temptation to go out for lunch. Instead, we came home and ate ham and cheese sandwiches with chips and Cokes. We had a few spills, but most everyone was getting along, the sun was pouring in through the kitchen window, lighting the room like a Norman Rockwell painting, and I bit my lip as I tried to savor the moment. Dennis was in his element, joking around with Allie (14) and Neal (12). Libby (9) was helping Ruthie (3) with her sandwich and sneaking her chips. Annie (6) was imitating all the big kids’ antics with remarkable ease. Most everyone cleared the table, and I only had to repeat myself a few times to get everyone to quit being silly long enough to finish the job.
It's so easy for me to focus on what is going wrong with things in my family. I know each of my children's character issues (and my own) with alarming clarity. We have so much work to do, and much of it is really hard.
But this weekend was just what I needed. Yes, it's loud and messy and imperfect but…it's also really, really fun!
It's uniquely OURS. It's home.