Today was our first real day of summer vacation.
I decided when I went to bed last night that I needed a refresh after a tense weekend of too many activities and a holiday that on one hand needs to be celebrated, but on the other hand is done with a whisper and sensitivity to those missing the reason for the holiday. Needless to say, it was a rough one around these parts.
I decided we'd do an afternoon hike to a local regional park which is one of A's favorites.
Within minutes of leaving the parking lot, I could feel the worries and tension leaving all of us. The start of the trail is a dried up creek bed that winds it's way down to the river. The hike down consisted of the kids alternating between skipping ahead, stopping to investigate something or laughing with each other.
I found myself trying to stop and live in those exact moments. Notice everything and just be...
A's enthusiasm in his search for lizards and amphibians.
L's non-stop conversation and insistence that he wait for me so I wouldn't "be lonely."
M acting like a kid and not worrying about life.
D running ahead as our scout and yelling happily to A when he saw a skink.
The sun filtering through the leaves and the sounds of the rushing water.
Giggles from the kids.
I loved today. I love how much fun the kids had without computers, play dates, practices, or the TV. I loved being with A and doing something he truly loves and how easily his knowledge and enthusiasm drew the other kids in. I loved how L pointed out all of the cicadas, millipedes and beetles for me and telling to me how much he wants to be an entomologist because he wants to be like his big brother, but not EXACTLY like his brother.
As we walked back up to the car, we all decided that next time we're going to pack a picnic lunch and stay longer. They decided that the little cousins should come too. I love how they all wanted to do it again soon, and wanted to share it with their cousins.
The afternoon was topped off with some ice cream at our favorite local joint in the quaint town near the park. It was a great afternoon and I look forward to more like it this summer. We certainly all needed it.