Monday, November 7, 2011

Quality time

A few weeks ago, I read a line from a mom who asked, "Who says spending quality time with kids means doing what THEY want?"  My kids would probably think that was me saying that, but it wasn't.  Still, I tip my hat to her.  I love spending time with my kids by pulling them into my own activities, but I'm just miserable at traditional kinds of "fun" activities.

This past weekend, I dragged my boys along with me to a math conference at Penn State.  They sat quietly through the math talk; they wrassled outside on the sidewalks when the talk was over.  We then got to buy ice cream at the famous local creamery.  As they sipped at their milkshakes on the cold, cold, mile-long walk back to our hotel, they thanked me for bringing me to the math conference.  I stifled the laughter and said "you're welcome".

On Saturday, my husband was AWOL; he flew around with his guard unit on big bad helicopters.   I dropped J-son off for a visit with his former foster mom.  N-son, K-daughter, and I did garden chores.  We pulled up the dead tomato plants, cut down weed trees, dug up the dirt in the garden, and raked a gazillion leaves.  J-son, hearing what he was missing, was bummed that he wasn't going to get to dig in the dirt with a pitchfork.  "No fair!"  K-daughter and I got to talk about getting her driver's liscence, and kept saying, "This is a perfect day!"   The three of us had fun in the dirt while the sun was out, and then we split up (the kids went shopping, and I went to Prairie Home Companion) by the evening.
On Sunday, after church we had our own little "quiet times".  When I announced I was ready to can applesauce, both kids jumped up to help.  We spent 2 hours putting up 16 pints of applesauce plus 5 trays of dehydrated apples.  Then we went our separate ways again; me doing a bit of grading, and N-son and K-daughter hangin' with friends.

It's hard not to ooze pride.  It's not like my life really is this perfect always -- there are days that the boys are wild, destructive, and quarrelsome, after all.  But this weekend together, dedicated to productive work, was as golden as the leaves all around us.  Ahhh.

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