This past Saturday, as Andrew and I racked our brains during round one of The Great Search for Something to Entertain the Kids, we settled on driving to a park in a town about a half hour from our home.
Our original plan was to go to the mall, but with the weather at 72 degrees and bright blue skies, it would have been criminal to stay inside. (Also, in Florida, when you get a temperature below 9,140 degrees in May, you take advantage of the blessing and drag the damn kids outside, because starting very soon, being outside from the hours of 10am-4pm will actually burn the rubber off your shoe soles.)
So despite the fact that even walking these days falls under the column of very taxing aerobic exercise for me, to the park we went.
The kids weren’t dressed for it (Hot tip: Crocs are NOT appropriate playground wear for toddlers), but we went for it anyway.
And we did what you do at a park. We played. The kids chased Andrew, pretending that the static charge they got from the twisty slide was a super power, and they dashed past me, screaming with giggles, each giving me a high five as they scrambled back to the top of the slide for another round.
It was perfect.
It was windy outside—crazy windy—as we left the park on a quick walk to a nearby main street. We passed a pier jutting out into a lake. The kids put their arms out as we walked onto it, pretending they were birds. They shrieked when a gust of wind took their hair and plastered it to their faces.
It was perfect.
We found our way to a bench at the end of the pier and the kids climbed onto me and Andrew, wanting to stay warm as the wind whipped us around. We snuggled them onto our laps took the picture you see here.
I love that picture. It is what parenthood is–messy and crazy and joyful. But I don’t need a photo to remember the undiluted joy I have in my heart from that one simple moment of our togetherness, and our peace as we held on our laps the only things that matter in the world to us.
This is what it’s all about. Absolutely nothing could steal the joy in my heart I had in those moments on the playground and on the pier—so powerful, my heart swelled to the point of bursting.
It’s been a priority of mine as a parent to not over-schedule our kids, to not plan too much. I’d like our supply of days like this one to last as long as possible. Unplanned. Disorganized.
In the coming years there will be practices and playdates and responsibilities. There will be me and Andrew, chauffeuring them around to hang out with other people, doing things that are not with us. And that will be wonderful for them too.
But not now. For now, we are selfish.
Soon there will be one more member of our family, and our focus will shift again. We will welcome our new little girl into our loving little Circle of Crazy, and she will be there with us on the bench, hair blowing wildly in the wind, with nothing to do except smile, laugh, and pretend she’s a bird too.
But for now, it’s just the four of us. And it’s perfect.
Sonni Abatta is a mom of (almost!) 3 who runs an Orlando lifestyle and mom blog. Reach out with any collaboration ideas to Sonni@SonniAbatta.com!