Yesterday I dropped Bella off at dance camp and came home to work. My list was long… dirty floors to sweep, kitchen messes to clean, a couple projects I wanted to finish, and a couple a wanted to start. We picked some more black raspberries (they just. keep. coming.) in stifling heat and put away clean dishes from yesterday. I blinked, and it was time to go get Bella, so I picked her up and we came home to lunch and a short movie together.
By then I had forgotten all about my to-do list. After all, it was hot, and there were sponge bombs to make. So we made them (with some help from Bri who was home after a weird bug that hit him the night before), and the two littles ran outside to cool off on this hot day.
I found my Ash upstairs on his top bunk, devouring Walter Farley’s Son of the Black Stallion and cooling off under the breeze of his ceiling fan. “In a few minutes,” I told him in my best conspirator’s whisper, “I’m heading outside to grab a sponge bomb, and then… well… you know.”
I love his half grin.
He sat up, dropped his book, bolted from his bunk and yelled, “All out waaaaaar!”
We played, y’all. Oh, how we played.
We were G.I. Joes. Ash was Snake Eyes, Bear was Duke, and Bella was Scarlett. I didn’t know who anyone was, so they dubbed me Lady Jaye, the covert operations specialist, and we grabbed water guns and sponge bombs and spent the afternoon in the yard doing our “training exercises”. We drenched each other and chased each other and wrestled each other and exhausted ourselves together.
There were a few minor injuries.
But mostly, there were sneak attacks…
And a few full-on confrontations.
While we played, the music blared from our outside speakers. “Oh, this is gotta be the good life, this has gotta be the good life…” How apropos.
Then we rested on the front porch swing with Freezie Pops and watched a storm in the distance make its way toward us and eventually shower us with it’s life-giving refreshment. Isn’t it so good of God to send us rain to water our garden each day?
We welcomed the first full day of summer with Grilled Ribeye in a Blue Cheese & Onion Sauce. Yes. It was scrumptious. (You may all wipe the drool from your mouths now.)
And we made fresh ice cream from our black raspberries picked that morning.
Then we played some more… Power Yahtzee on the floor of the den. Together. Just laughing and playing until it was dark outside and the crickets were chirping, and the children (well, 2 of them) fell asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow.
Not much of my to-do list got done yesterday. But I don’t mind. My children won’t remember when I hung new curtains or shopped for a new picture frame or if I vacuumed on a Friday instead of a Thursday.
But they will remember this day.
They will remember that the hard work of picking berries in humidity that makes it almost impossible to breathe pays off with delectable bites of homemade organic ice cream.
They will remember that work is good and necessary, but so is play.
They will remember that when you put aside the bickering and nit-picking to just enjoy each other, your relationships bind closer and the love grows deeper.
They will learn that life is short and the to-do lists are long.
But they will also learn that some things are too valuable to not do.