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My husband is the spontaneous one in our marriage. It is such a gift. I’m getting better at it, but still. The kids joke that if I hadn’t married my wonderful, mostly stoic, Swede, their lives would be safe, productive and highly nutritious.
I laugh. I have to, because there is so much truth in that caricature.
I have learned from my husband the gift of the unexpected.
Our kids, ten years later, still talk about the time that Daddy asked what they wanted to do that day and, when they responded with, “drive to *next state over*!”, he said yes. They drove eight hours round trip that day, road trip extraordinaire. I was on a business trip somewhere and they got such joy out of calling me and telling me where they were. They still talk about that day and, when they do, they still laugh about it. Total cost of that lifelong memory: Gas, and two stops at a Dairy Queen for road food.
Easier surprises are things like mom suggesting we build a fort in the living room and then telling the kids they can sleep there tonight. Yes, they’ll probably be up at midnight asking you to take them to bed, that doesn’t matter, it’s the adventure of it, the break from routine.
Waking them up with fresh hot pancakes tomorrow, that’s a nice surprise. It’d set a fun tone for the weekend too.
The biggest surprise we ever pulled off was when we told our kids we were going camping, and when we got them in the car, pulled out the passports and told them we were travelling to a foreign country instead. I LOVED that moment! That kind of adventure clearly takes planning and resources, but you’d be surprised at what you can pull off with Groupon Travel and airbnb.com.
We spend so much of our lives planned and prepped down to the minute, I get it, we have to, or we’d die. But, every once in a while, let your guard down and let in the unexpected.
It’s about joy.
Go have some of that this weekend.