My boys’ Fall Break that happened to not coincide with the rest of the public school system (darn you and your flexible scheduling, public charter school!) kind of threw a wrench in, well, the fact that I have a JOB. Granted, we should have planned ahead, but I figure my public school teacher husband would have the same days off as my public school children, right? Ah, wrong, it turns out.
I was a little grumbly about heading home early to relieve the half-day babysitter I managed to scrape together at the last minute. Alas, my grumbliness was not put to rest as I walked through the front door. Somehow, in the 3 hours I was gone diligently earning a living, the boys managed to turn the house inside out. It was as if a pack of rabid coyotes had been spent a week wrestling. Indoors. In every room in the house. The Cat in the Hat story without the last-minute cleaning effort. You get the picture, and any mom knows that draining feeling when fun mom needs to deal with a bunch of bullshit.
After barking quite a few cleaning orders and reprimands, we all tumbled outside into……… this.
My mood immediately lifted (honestly, how could someone possibly maintain a sour mood under that color of sky? I think I actually see the universe smiling in that picture), the boys’ wily coyote selves were tempered, and we all basked in the glorious Colorado sunshine. We brought out the regular wooden block set, the small wooden block set, the architectural wooden block set and the Magna-Tiles, and proceeded to spend the next 4 hours, no exaggeration, out in our front yard building and enjoying each other’s company.
This architectural set from
The nice, orderly, symmetrical, ho-hum front of this building (below) is my design. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but Alex’s work in the back made the piece something I’d love to walk into. You’d look at this building and know it couldn’t house lame cubicles and tired government workers; it’d have to have frolicking unicorns grazing on levitating dewy grassy meadows, or adorable dwarf baby hippos serving dark chocolate bars while swaying their rotund hips to Latin beats.
Sky’s the limit for you, Al Pal. Sky’s the limit.
Honestly, if someone had been conducting a scientific observation of our 4 hours of engaged, relaxing, truly enjoyable time together (WHEN DOES THAT EVER HAPPEN?? THREE BOYS GOING 4 HOURS WITH NO PURPOSEFUL FARTS, STICK-WIELDING, WRESTLING, OR BLOOD?) they would surely have come to the only rational conclusion--that we were an alien family, sent from a much more highly evolved, civilized planet. We did have some nose-picking, but come on, it was damn near a miraculous event here, people.
It was such a long stretch of peaceful, unstructured yet purposeful, and enjoyable activity, and even though we were all outside together, I had quality, individual time with each of my three favorite people in the world.
Who knew that a fall afternoon filled with blocks and boys would end up being one of the highlights of my life? The universe surely smiled down upon me today, and I've done quite a bit of smiling up at it ever since.