Today, in beautiful North Idaho, it's a wonderful Spring-like day. A day that beckons to not be spent in the house wearing our sock jammies all day long as we have done for the previous nine days. Today, we all put real clothes and shoes on and went to the store. This was our first outing since the kids got sick. Four children confined to a home for a week and a half is not pretty.
My mom's birthday is today and we had to go to the store and buy her a present. As we walked into the store and my children (2 in the basket and 2 walking) were saying hi to everyone with voices so loud they seemed as if they were microphoned through a PA system, my kids were delighted. I'm usually one of those moms that is constantly reminding the kids about our "inside voices," but today I knew there was no point in my persistent nagging since the kids excitement about breathing fresh air and seeing other faces was far more extreme than anything I had to say. My children were WONDERFUL in the store today. They put a lot of thought into what they wanted to get for Grandma and were rewarded for their wonderful behavior with some jelly beans.
As they are sleeping right now, well, most of them that is (Lily is experimenting with her new freedom of a big girl bed) I am anxious to let them run today outside despite their runny noses that persist no matter if they are sick or not. Today, so far, has been one of those easier parenting days. Thank God for that - Lord knows I needed it!
I was reminded this morning of a truth I have learned over the last couple years. Having fun and doing fun things may seem like a lot of work up front but when it's all said and done, days that are fun filled are days that seem to be the easiest of all. Granted, they take a lot of energy, but good energy. I would much rather spend my day chasing after kids in a playground having fun, than disciplining them all day for fighting, screaming and whining.
I know a lot of women who just get, well, scared at the idea of doing fun things. Things that may require a mess and lots of clean up afterward are forbidden. But those things, the things that they can use all their senses with, are the funnest things of all! Like finger painting on a warm day and letting it turn into body paint, or shaving cream all over the kitchen table, or tin foil as pretend knight armor, the ideas are endless.
Those days are the days that I feel like are successes. My kids learn about textures and tastes, they are more excited to share and play together, and I feel like I'm a fun parent. It's so much more enjoyable feeling like "Fun Mommy" than "No Fun Mommy" as my kids call me on "grumpy" days.
Here's to today...make it a fun one!