So far, the month of June has brought Travis and me a couple of what I think have been the most fun weekends we’ve had in a really long time, and I think it’s due in part to the fact that we are moving beyond the baby stage of parenthood.
I’m certainly not saying that parenting babies isn’t fun. In fact, saying goodbye to the baby stage has been bittersweet for me. I will definitely miss all the pleasures of babyhood, and yet, I am excited by the prospect of moving on (presuming that is what God has in store for us…). I think our recent weekend fun has been a foretaste of what I was sure would come someday–an increased ease in getting out….
Saturday, June 4th, was Travis and my sixth wedding anniversary, and we celebrated it as a family. After a nice dinner out with the kids that evening, we decided on a whim to visit Bass Pro Shop. A store recently opened in our area, and since we hadn’t all been there yet, we thought it would be fun to walk through it. We joked that it seemed kind of redneck-ish for an anniversary date (Ha!), but we really enjoyed looking at the fish, the stuffed animals, the camping supplies. We even tried out the little shooting range/hunting simulation thing. (Okay, so I don’t even know what it was called, but it was fun! It was actually my first time ever holding a (fake) gun!)
This past weekend brought lots of fun, too, but this time of the kid-free sort. (Thanks, Mom and Dad Squires!) Thursday night, Travis and I went out for dinner and a movie and had a wonderful time. (We saw Water for Elephants–pretty good!) When we got home at 1:00 a.m. in the middle of a hard rainstorm, we went directly to the backyard to put a tarp over our new and as of yet un-shingled shed. By the time we were done we were literally dripping with water, but I tell you what… it was fun. We were together, we were laughing, and it didn’t matter that we were wet and cold because we were simply enjoying our friendship.
The next day, Travis and I attended our first homeschooling conference, and I don’t think “fun” is a big enough word to describe it. Tons of useful information, books everywhere we looked… this information-seeking, book-loving couple was on Cloud 9. I already knew going in that I’ll be using Sonlight Curriculum again this year, so that took all the stress out of weeding through vendors and sifting through books. Instead of looking to buy, I could simply enjoy the browsing! (Although, I did heftily buy from one vendor…. :-))
Saturday we were without childcare, so Travis and I took turns attending portions of the homeschooling conference. That afternoon, our family was honored to attend the beautiful wedding of our neighbor followed by a most lovely reception and super fun dance. We haven’t been able to really enjoy a wedding dance since our own, but this one was different… because we have exited the baby stage. Instead of our children having to be held during the dance, they were right there beside us dancing the night away. I can’t remember the last time we’ve had so much fun together as a family as we did on that dance floor.
All that being said, I’m feeling a little lighter than I have in several years, and I’m enjoying that. My responsibilities as a mother, homemaker, and wife have by no means lifted; but the ease of leaving the house–with or without kids–seems to be finally setting in. I hope that as I find more freedom this summer I can strike a proper balance between work and play; because though there is work that has to be done, a little fun–even if it’s just standing out in the pouring rain–is good for the soul!