Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Break --- Sunday and Monday

I prayed it would not happen. I went to bed on Saturday night listening to the rain pelt my bedroom windows. It was chilly and the temperatures were falling but because it was so late and because it was STILL rain, I had hope. After all, it was the very end of March. Spring has begun. And the children are on Spring Break...

Sunday morning, I woke to find that the world sounded strangely quiet. Oddly insulated. I got up and slowly pulled back the curtain to look outside. And there it was. Snow. Not a dusting, not a tiny bit... No, we were in the middle of what looked like a full fledged snowstorm. We easily had 4 inches on the ground and the snow was still falling. It was cold and blowy and all I could think about was how badly I wanted to get back into bed and pull the blankets over my head.

About the time the despair of Spring delayed fell fully upon me, I saw Josiah's smile peek around the corner. I smiled back and my 6 year old threw his arms around my waist. We climbed back into bed for a few minutes to start the day snuggling where it was warm. It is his first Spring Break. Even with snow covering the ground, I want him to have fun. It mattered what I did... it mattered what I said.

So, we bundled up in winter clothes and headed off to church. We talked about the beauty of the snow on the trees and I mused aloud that the very thing that is hard to see today is what we hoped for Christmas morning. And yes, I was a little crabby. And yes, it is not what I wanted. But, I don't have a choice and truth be told, it was beautiful.

After church, while I worked on Sunday dinner, the kids hunted for warm clothes and headed outside to play in the thick, wet snow. It was perfect for packing and in short order a snowman grew where it had not been before. Extra clothes kept him warm and I brought out a carrot for a nose and Benjamin built a companion in the form of a dog. Snowballs flew. Angels were made. Giggles floated high into the chilly air. It is not what I hoped for but it was good. And for a little while, the beach would have been second choice.

Here is a glimpse into Sunday of Spring Break...

Today, the snow is melting and a new day begins. We started slow and most of us didn't even get dressed until well after 10:00 AM. Life on a tight budget in an sluggish economy encourages us to find joy in the simple things of life; like an early morning cartoon, sugary cereal, comfy jammies and a relaxing start to weekday morning. I listened to my kids laugh with one another and watched them trash the basement. It is not Disney but it will work for us.

At lunch, we reflected on a program we had seen last week about bread. (Yes, I am one of those moms that will sit and watch a program with my kids... about bread.) We talked about the possibility of catching wild yeast in our house and made a sourdough starter to watch all week. We marked the jar to keep track of any growth and lesson over, went back to some wild game the kids play as they try to capture one another.

So, Spring Break has started and with an eye on the bank account, it will be filled with ordinary moments that become unique because we can share them together. We will not get on a plane or travel far away. We will, however, find something special to do each day. Something fun. Something good. Something cheap.

As I sit here at the computer typing away, laughter is piped into this space through the baby monitor still in Elizabeth's room. And I am reminded that I can plan amazing experiences for my four children and in the end what they will remember best is the time we spent together in the van traveling from one event to the next. It is easier than I think and every minute they spend together laughing and running and making up games helps them see what really matters. They are learning to find value in the things that have the greatest worth in life... and all of it is free.

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