In our over-scheduled world, it’s not often that we take a day just to be with our children. I know I am guilty of this — always finding another errand to run, an email to respond to, a school form to fill out, or a messy closet to organize.
But, when one of those perfect, unscheduled days falls into your lap, it’s important to enjoy it and recognize the important role it can play in your child’s life and your life.
Recently, my youngest daughter and I had one of those “perfect days.” My husband was in the yard doing what husbands do. My teenager was in her room, doing what teenagers do, and my little one was itching for me to do something with her. Since it was a beautiful day, I suggested a bike ride. She excitedly agreed and added that she would like a destination for the ride, preferably a place to get lunch.
“Really, Mommy?” she asked again even though I had already told her what we were going to do. “You don’t have any work to do?”
“Not anything important,” I said returning her infectious smile.
So, we pumped up the bike tires, loaded up with water, and headed out. I took her on a winding route that would give us not only more variety, but also offered less cars so we could ride side-by-side and talk. After lunch, we headed home.
“It’s so hot, I sure would love to go for a swim,” my red-faced 10-year-old said as we pulled into the driveway.
“Let’s do it!” I said, surprised by my own willingness to be spontaneous.
So, we headed to the pool where she critiqued my strokes, demonstrated her handstand abilities, and imitated a variety of sea life including dolphins, sharks and whales.
We headed home and showered and then went to a movie she had been wanting to see. Over popcorn in the darkness she leaned over to me during the previews and whispered: “Mommy, this is probably my best day ever.”
And I couldn’t agree more.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.