Somehow we all forget the rush that goes along with all of these things until it sneaks back on us. We look back at the pictures and don't remember the yelling in the car, the lost socks, the dirty pants or the late nights. Our memories only hold onto the great hit, the big hill, the impressive dive, or the moment a handstand is accomplished against the wall.
We've been grabbing hold of moments in our busy schedule, to pack up and head to the lake for an hour of fishing and playing before bedtime.
This is my favorite time at the lake when...no one is there. We get spoiled during the spring when kids and families are still working and in school and the lake isn't occupied with other bodies. Where our kids run freely, have the play area to themselves, and run from campsite to campsite with no boundaries.
Soon it will be full of boaters and campers, and my kids will enjoy that time too, because they always meet a new friend that is willing to play. This is my favorite time though, when it feels like it is just ours.
We can ride bikes in the road and not worry so much about who we are interrupting with our loudness, because where we go loudness usually follows.
We spend nice mornings here doing schoolwork, walking and enjoying the sites and sounds of the water in the morning. I had a thought last night that in the past 12 years, I have lived really close to large bodies of water, that our lives have revolved around water...we just can't seem to get away from it. Our children aren't going to know what it means to drive to the lake for the day because it takes only a few minutes for us to get there. So when I get upset about living so far away from town, I remember that my children have a lake that is even closer, woods at the back doorstep, trails a hop, skip and jump away, and a pond close enough to walk too.
So in my attempt to check off my to do list, be a great mom, save some money and really impress my kids....I took them to the zoo by myself...here is the big part..during a time when they were having discounted rates for school groups. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against school fieldtrips..I think they are great, I think the teachers and parents who go and lead them are amazing but I don't think my children do amazing with them.
My kids don't know how to walk in a straight line, they take up the whole sidewalk. No matter how much prodding and moving them, asking them to get in front of me or behind...they just didn't get it.
My kids don't hurry from one exhibit to the other. They stand and stand and stand...and I never thought anything of it until they were in the way, when one school group came through, then another, and then another and my four kids are still standing checking out the giraffes and hippos. I realized that my kids have never been rushed during their fieldtrips, they haven't had time limits, they kept looking back saying, "Mom, check this out, or "Did you know this." We usually talk about things during our school events. We usually read the signs, push big strollers and talk while we are walking....we are definitely different.
This is a river that we go to all summer long, to fish and swim. This is our absolute favorite place. This is our get away, where the lake is our home this is our vacation from it all.
I have never seen this place not crowded but it is the most peaceful place I have ever been. If I could afford to buy a cabin on the hill and move in...I would.
With ice chests full of drinks and food or just a bag thrown together full of half empty bags of chips and cookies, sometimes we plan and sometimes we just go on a whim but we always come back satisfied.
We are changing some things up in our house, getting into a new routine, working on things we aren't good at and not being intimidated by them. Say a little prayer for us...change isn't always easy with 5 kids who already like their routine but sometimes it is necessary when God calls us to change.