Good morning, Mamma! Happy Friday! Time to maybe plan a weekend surprise for your kids? These are memories that really stick because there is so much emotional power in a happy surprise.
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.
Saturday, Saturday! Good morning, Mommy!! What are you going to do to #buildmemories today?
Make breakfast with the kids? Let them put the blueberries in little cups and cover them with whipped cream.! Let them spread the peanut butter on the toast (and lick their fingers because it inevitably gets everywhere, it’s a cardinal rule of peanut butter spreading)! Let them pick the flavor of the pancakes! Cooking and eating together feeds both body and soul.
Will you get outside together? Hanging (and napping) in a hammock? Splashing at the beach (and sandcastles, definitely sand castles)? Going for a hike with a picnic tucked into your backpack? Or maybe you’ll just set up the sprinkler at home and let the kids run through it while you snap pictures that you’ll laugh at forever?
Or is today a cultural day? Biking to the local bandstand to hear music? Spending a couple hours at a local museum (children’s, science or art, they’re all wonderful). Is there a festival going on near you celebrating another ethnicity or culture?
County fair! You could find a county fair! Corn dogs and cows and kiddie rides. Awesome.
Is today a weeding the garden day? A mud pie day? A plant-a-little-tree-for-each-kid-and-let-them-take-care-of-it day? Dirt is awesome.
Or break out that video feature on your iPhone and make a video. You can have the kids come up with the story, help them find costumes and then film it for them. My kids once constructed an entire play like this, took all day, involved neighbors and friends. It was awesome. (Do not, however, let them add blue food coloring to the whipped cream pie that will end the show. That stuff stains the skin for DAYS.)
This is your life, Mamma. These are the days that build your relationship with those precious kids of yours. And that husband you’d like to continue to enjoy a great relationship with for pretty much forever.
Go. Do. Live it and love it and take pictures.
Good morning, Mamma!!! Happy Saturday! Go DO something, Mamma! Share some experiences with your family. Memories are built from shared experiences. Go build some memories!
Train ride, bike ride, little red wagon.
Ice cream store, toy store, book store!
Bake cookies, bake bread, make smoothies and eat them outside on the stoop.
Write a story together, tell a story, make a video.
Brush their hair, put braids in, take pictures.
Candyland, Pictionary, Poker.
Go to a national park, go to the city pool, go to Disneyland!
Google up a festival and check it out. Or a museum. Or a beautiful old church.
If you must do the laundry, let them help you sort the clothes and throw them in the wash matchine. Yes, it will take longer.
If you have to get groceries, let them push their own little cart along with you. Yes, it will take longer and you will end up buying a bag of marshmallows you didn’t intend to come home with.
If you have to clean, give them a dust cloth too.
You see, Mamma, there is only so much time. Relationships, whether friendship, marriage or parent/child, relationships are built on shared experiences.
Go build your relationships today, Mamma. Right now.
Good morning, girl! Saturday. Wonderful, spring-is-here, sun-soaked Saturday. How are you going to play today?
Because life is short, childhood is fleeting, and the day beckons.
Go play, Mamma. Pack the snacks, grab the kids, fill the day with laughter! Take pictures!
And tonight, as you put your tired and happy crew to bed, say a little prayer of thanks that God ever made you a mother.
Lucky, lucky you.
Hey, Mamma. Happy Saturday. I dropped my little girl off to take her SATs this morning. Dropped her off, didn’t walk in because husband and I want to send the message that, as we told her, we trust her and she’s got this. About two and a half seconds after she walked away, I started crying.
See, I love being a mom. In spite of the fact that I was often so tired I fell asleep WHILE reading Goodnight Moon out loud, I love being a mom. (They’d pat my cheek gently and say, “Mamma! Mamma, we’re not done yet!”) In spite of all the dirty dishes, and laundry, and muddy floors and mystery holes in the sheetrock (where I’d stand and think, “Golf club? Baseball bat? Elbow?”) I love being a mom.
Being a mom is the best thing I’ve ever done. Better than the big checks. Better than the big awards. Better than the I-feel-so-damn-smart-and-competent presentations to big groups of people. Better than anything.
Looking at their eyes, sparkling with wonder and joy, or sparkling with tears of sadness or frustration. Getting those hugs, especially the ones that just about knock you over after you get back from a business trip. Smelling their hair, that sweaty individual, I’d-know-you-with-my-eyes-closed unique smell that pulls at the deepest core of my heart.
I love being a mom.
It’s Saturday, Mamma. Go build some memories. It goes so fast.
Good morning, Mommy! Happy Saturday! What do you have teed up for the day? Cookies? Cards? Lounging around the house with the kids?
I hope, I really hope that today you can take a minute from the crazy, maybe even take sixty minutes, and just soak up your kids today. You don’t have to do do do every single minute of every day. I know, there is so much to day, but today, my hope for you is that you’ll take some time to do nothing.
I should let you know that I found out this morning that a friend’s cancer is back. Young mom. Great husband. Two kids, grade school and preschool. That kind of news will make you a little introspective, Mamma. And it will, and should, inform the passion with which you appreciate your own life today.
Carve out an hour. Turn off the phone, forget the laundry, just be there with that precious family. You can spare an hour, no matter what’s going on. Maybe snuggle on the sofa and read books… maybe fall asleep on the sofa while reading books. Maybe sit by your tree, ask your kids what they remember from last Christmas, tell them what it was like when you were a kid. Get to know each other a little bit.
Whatever your delicious, relaxing nothing looks like, enjoy.
You get to be here, you lucky, lucky woman.
Life is short. Life is precious. And blessings surround you.
Good morning, Mommy! Happy Play Day.
I hope you’ll do something around gratitude with your kids today. Prep for Thanksgiving and an antidote to all the Black Friday gimme gimme gimme ads we’ve been inundated with lately.
I’ll post a picture of a gratitude wreath I made with my kids this year. Years past, we’ve done them on paper; this year I found an inexpensive silk wreath, and we used that. This is one of my favorite annual traditions.
We take a night or an afternoon and pass the wreath around and write things we are grateful for on it. We talk about what we are writing while we do this. It is not only super fun, but also helps you to get to know each other.
My husband, the biker, was grateful for fresh asphalt. My son was grateful for basketball and time together as a family (yes! win!) My daughter was grateful for food and music and that she lives in a country where she is allowed to get an education (yikes, you think about these things, daughter of mine?)
What are you grateful for? What are your kids grateful for? Take a minute today and talk about how very blessed you are. Write it down – on whatever you have on hand – and then post it for the family to see.
Happy Playtime, Mommy. Happy family time.