I am in the midst of a week in NC with the boys. By myself. At my parents’ house. Which is in the throes of a kitchen renovation. And my folks are at work all day. Did I mention I was by myself?
I dubbed the trip “Camp NC” for Peanut and we made t-shirts and a travel journal for him to fill with all the fun things we’re doing this week. We have included a trip to the Asheboro Zoo (where mama got to feed a giraffe!) and various play dates and meals with family around town.
Although catching up with everyone is crazy and remembering to wash out the sippy cups in the bathroom has been challenging, I am having a blast with my boys. Removing myself from the day-to-day tasks of laundry and meal planning and meal making and cleaning up and car pooling and Twitter and rewrites, I have found the fun again. There is just time for play. No distractions.
Sure, I have play time with the kids during a regular week, but there are mental to-do lists piling up while I deal the seventh game of Uno with Peanut. Or there is the (ahem) “play time” in the laundry basket with Pumpkin while I’m folding laundry. Or the “just give me a minute” responses when I’m trying to finish that last email or make one more phone quick call.
This week, it’s just been travel bingo, soccer balls, playgrounds, jokes, checkers, cuddle time and giggles. I haven’t felt the need to yell once. I’m watching the boys learn to play together in a way that is new to them, too. I recognize it as the way my sister and I would play at my grandparents’ house. No matter how entrenched in a violent cycle of sibling rivalry we were in during the car ride up or at home for weeks before ever departing, we would silently put aside those differences and enjoy each other’s company making up new games, boating with Poppa or playing hide and seek with our cousins. My boys are so little it’s not sibling rivalry they are putting aside, but more accurately, they are finally recognizing the playmates they have in each other when all their own distractions of home are missing.
I’m so glad I decided to make this trip. I’m even happier that we timed it when we did. The last day of school was last week and the summer stretches out long in front of us. Perhaps the lessons we are learning on this trip will inspire the rest of our summer. More play. Less worry. More focus on the moment. Less looking ahead. More joy in each other. Less looking for the flaws.
If this week is any indication, I think it’s going to be a great summer.
Although, according to Mommy’s Law, I probably just jinxed myself, didn’t I?