Saturday, August 1, 2009


Being spontaneous does not come naturally to me. If it’s not in the plan or written down somewhere, I don’t do it. And, if forced to do something that’s not in the plan, I have a hard time enjoying it. This made for some stressful times when we started having kids – kids don’t always stick to the plan. Well, this has been the summer of spontaneous activities. It occurred to me how much I had improved over the years, and particularly since summer started, when I ran into a friend at the entrance to the grocery store the other day. She was just coming out and I was about to go in. I had some things to tell her so I walked her to her car. I wasn’t in a big hurry – the kids were at home (I must say, I love having built-in babysitters!). Then she said that we should go to lunch since we had more to talk about and she didn’t have time to stand in the parking lot and talk. She was in a hurry to get one of her kids somewhere. To my own surprise, I jumped in her car, forgetting temporarily about the milk I needed to buy at the store and everything else I probably needed to do that afternoon. We had a great time and the food was delicious. As it turns out… the kids didn’t even miss me, the milk was still at the store when I went back later, and the world did not end because I didn’t follow the plan!
I was tested again the very next day. Na’s friend called letting her know that they were going to the beach and wondering if we could go, too. At first I said it wouldn’t work. After all, it was already lunch time. You can’t leave for the beach that late in the day! Plus, all of my boys were out on Lake Michigan for the day catching salmon, and we had big plans for a fish cook-out that evening. I had to prepare, and how could I do that from the beach. This was my “it’s not in the plan” thinking coming out. It only took me about 20 minutes to change my mind and realize that even just a few hours at the beach could still be fun. So we packed up and were out of the house within about 15 minutes (maybe a new record!). The girls and I had a great time and they didn’t complain when we had to go home after our a few hours were up. They were actually ready to leave. I think I can toss out my belief that you need an entire day to enjoy the beach. Looking back at the summer so far, I’m realizing that some of our best times have not been planned out or “on the calendar”… dropping everything to go to the pool (a lot!); the midnight showing of Harry Potter; spur of the moment badminton games with one of the kids; movie nights complete with popcorn and treats; and the list goes on. After all, my only goal this summer was to have fun with my kids. I think it’s going well so far!