I know I haven’t been around much lately. (Okay… at all. For longer than lately.) It’s a long, boring story about ridiculous adult insecurity, and I won’t get into the details. Thanks for keeping me on your RSS readers anyway.
Kendra said something yesterday that really made me stop and think, and think, and think some more. In fact, it’s all I have been able to think about today (you know, except laundry, what to make for dinner, where to put the groceries, etc.). Yesterday afternoon, she got Hannah and Anthony into their swimsuits and they played in the sprinklers in the front yard for hours. HOURS. Now, this isn’t the first time they’ve played in the water this summer. Heck, it isn’t even the first time they played in the sprinklers this WEEK, but something about it was extra special yesterday, and they had a wonderful time bonding as siblings and (I’m sure) annoying all the neighbors. Then, when they were finished swimming, they came inside and played games together until it was way past time for bed. It was one of the nicest evenings we’ve had since school got out, even though we’ve had a lot of really good ones this month, because they were happy and loving and tolerant of each other.
As I was tucking the kids into bed, Kendra gave me a hug and said, “How sad for Alex, that he missed out. Because he really missed out on a fun time.” (Alex’s friend Christian was spending the day at our house, and since he didn’t have another change of clothes, they stayed dry, inside. They assured me they still had a great time doing tween-boy things– to me it looked like messing around on Christian’s phone, playing video games, watching silly videos on YouTube, and saying “dude” as many times as humanly possible, but I’m a mom. What do I know?)
“I know,” I told her. “I’m sad he missed out, too. Maybe tomorrow you can do something with him, just the kids.”
Fast-forward to this morning: Kenny and I went to pick up food from the co-op, delivered part of it to my mom, had a really great date at the grocery store where we saved a whopping $75 on our bill, and came home to find that the house was still standing, no one was injured and the kids actually still liked each other.
[I have to say, I am really enjoying the luxury of leaving Alex and Kendra in charge for an hour. They are each in charge of one younger sibling, and they follow the “no phone, no door” rule. It has been AGES since Kenny and I did anything together on our own, (with the exception of our anniversary lunch) which becomes even more apparent when a trip to the grocery store on a Saturday morning is equivalent to dinner and a movie. I guess there *are* perks to having your kids get older.]
When we got home, the kids helped carry in the groceries, picked through the bag to find the “good stuff” (read: junk food), jumped up and down when Kenny said he wanted to wash the cars, and asked if they could get their swimsuits on RIGHTNOWRIGHTNOWRIGHTNOW. The younger three turned on the sprinklers and held their own mini car wash for bikes, complete with chalk-drawn lane markers and a water-gun rinse. They were having a blast!
So, even with all this sibling goodwill and fun and entertainment, Alex chose to stay inside and play a video game. They begged him to join them outside, and he declined. When I told him his game time was over, he grabbed a book and started reading it. I tried to coax him outside to play with his brother and sisters, and he took his book outside on the shaded front porch for about 5 minutes before he came back inside, seeking relief from the heat.
“You should go get your swimming trunks on and join them!” I said. “Then you’d be cool.”
“Nah,” he said. “I don’t feel like it.”
I tried again, a little bit later, and got the same response. No amount of encouraging (me) or begging (the other kids) could change his mind, and so I let it go.
I remembered what Kendra had said from the night before, about missing out, and it really made me think. What great experiences do I miss out on because they’re mildly uncomfortable? What opportunities have I missed because I’ve been distracted by something else? When there is something I’d like to do that I feel under-prepared for, do I give up right away, or do I look for a solution?
So here I am, back at my badly neglected blog. I’d like to tell you it took me this long to complete all the tasks on my last post, but the truth is, I got distracted. There are so many opportunities I missed, so many stories I failed to tell, because it was mildly inconvenient or I was feeling insecure about sharing them. I’ve decided that enough is enough. I like blogging. I like telling the stories of the crazy that goes on here. I need to be better about seizing opportunities (not just blogging ones) that come my way, and better at prioritizing my time.
No more missing out.