The spring break version.
I posted a few months ago about how I feel like we’re in a parenting sweet spot right now, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s continuing. This is NOT to say that things are blissful and easy (truly, the parenting/directing/character education is getting harder)…the physical demands are just lessening. And it’s, well, glorious.
[Maybe it’s also magnified by how our siblings are earlier in their parenting years, and going through the more physically demanding time, which makes me feel old and worn out and like I’ve been there done that. Enter “dang, I am OLD” thoughts here.]
For instance, it’s spring break. On Friday, Matt’s mom and I took the boys to the zoo, and for the first time since I became a parent, we went without the stroller. Sweet freedom! Jack Henry totally rocked at walking through the zoo, never once complaining to be picked up (which is not, as I recall, how his brothers’ first trips to the zoo sans-stroller went).
Then today, we ran a couple of errands, during which we did not need a) a diaper bag or b) bribes like Smarties to make it through 3 quick stops. The real bribe of going to the park for lunch after the errands was enough to keep everyone going for the hour of boring stuff.
And the trip to the park? So much fun. We ate a quick lunch in the gazebo at one of my all-time favorite parks (Des Peres Park for you locals – it’s a gem, and holds so many memories of my first couple of years here in STL), and everyone fed themselves. Quickly. Then it was time to play. And not once did I have to get up in the play structure to get a kid who climbed too high or didn’t want to slide down, etc. BUT, all 3 kids were thoroughly entertained; Luke’s not too old to think the park is lame. We also enjoyed a quick walk around the “lake” (it’s really a pond), saw some geese and wild turkeys, and not once – ok, only once, in the picture below on the dock – did I worry about a kid falling in the dirty water.
I love the feeling of contentment…it’s different from joy or happiness, which are both great, too, but not the same. And I’ve been content all day long. Just what I needed. Spring break is good for the moms, too.