This year I couldn't think of any material thing I needed for Mother's Day. What I did need, and what I find myself coveting more and more, is uninterrupted time and conversation with my kids. Time not interrupted by chores, schedules, responsibilities and the all around busyness of life. Conversations focused on thoughts and feelings, rather than on reminders, explanations, requests, and mediating sibling rivalry. I wanted to get away from all that for the day and enjoy each other!
And that's what we did. We started out the day sleeping in a little. Because nothing makes an outing go downhill faster than having a hard deadline to leave and hurrying to get there. I did not want to start our special day off frazzled and fighting before we even left.
We planned ahead on the food. I made Mother's Day lunch reservations and the kids ate a big breakfast before we left. Hunger is another guarantee there will be fighting and bad attitudes in our family. It's hard to be patient and kind on an empty stomach, am I right?
We had an hour drive to our destination. This was the perfect amount of time. Long enough for great conversations, but not so long people got antsy. I love talking to my kids in the car. They're a captive audience and I learn so much more than I would if we were at home with all its distractions. I learn things listening to them talk to each other, too. I get the inside scoop on the high school and who's dating who, etc. I love it! Not because I'm nosy. I don't even know most of the people they're talking about. I just love that inside peek into their world. In between, make her stop doing that, and, why do I have to sit in the middle, are the talks I treasure.
We went to a state park and admittedly, this was not a fun prospect in the minds of my kids. I'm pretty sure my husband gave them a talking to about not complaining and humoring their mother on Mother's Day. I did hear What are we going to do?, Why didn't we pick a closer park?, and Are we just going to walk around and eat? But they got into the spirit quickly.
We had a buffet style lunch that was marginal quality, but I didn't care what we were eating as long as we were together. Not having to cook and clean up a meal are wonderful treats for me. I really enjoyed all of us laughing and trying new foods together! It felt festive with so many other families gathered together to celebrate, too.
We went on two hikes. Walking and hiking with no particular destination or timetable allows for personalities to shine through. I saw different ones talking and walking together for awhile and then others together after that.
I really appreciated the effort put forth by my husband and kids to make my Mother's Day special. There was almost no sibling rivalry. No bad attitudes and talking back. No real complaining about the heat, the hikes, the food, or anything else. It was truly one of those magical days where family life is just like a Hallmark movie. I will savor it and turn it over in my mind for a long time to come.