I wonder what I used to do all day before I had children. I can't even remember, though I expect that I felt very busy. Now, with two young children, my days are so full with outings, adventures, and general chaos, that I sometimes find myself daydreaming about my life before. Did I go for brunch on a holiday Monday (like it is today), maybe after having slept in a few extra hours? Did I stroll places, in a leisurely fashion? Would I have cared that my neighbourhood was filled with ear-crackingly loud fireworks at the exact moment children are being tucked into bed? I'd wager I didn't give it much thought, unlike tonight when I'm writing this, where you will find me cursing the damn fireworks while requesting politely* that the girls kindly get back into bed and ignore all those pops and bangs outside their window.
We're winding down eleven days of girls-only time at home while their Papa has been away in Greece. He will tell you he's working, supervising university students while they explore Athens and Crete. I will tell you that he's on vacation.
We had the entire day before us on this holiday Monday, with the girls home from school and me done with placement. After watching Mrs. Doubtfire together (after waking up at a very unholiday-like time of six in the morning), we decided to take a walk to the bagel store, both as something to pass the time and to solve my problem off not having much food in the house to pack school lunches this week (bagels and cream cheese it is!). It was a delightful walk, filled with excited declarations about snails and flowers. We even met a cat on our path who chaperoned us through at least whole three blocks. We named him Marshmallow and decided not to take him home with us. Four cats are enough. (Frankly two cats were enough, but we're slow learners.)
Next we met some good friends at one of Toronto's best parks, Dufferin Grove. Though we have named it the Mud Pit Park, because it offers the most enormous sand pit children could ever dream of, complete with water, shovels, and stacks of wood for building bridges and other necessary structures. My friend, the smart one of the two of us, packed a change of clothes and a towel for the necessary clean-up at the end of our three hour visit. I did not, which worked out less well when it was time to leave and Shira was covered it dirt from head to toe (she explained calmly that she needed to lay down in the mud, obviously). But I did remember snacks because I am not a complete novice.So after our fun we packed my dirty children and my friend's more presentable children and went, of course, for ice cream.
These kind of days feel so familiar to me, though it has been a long time since I've had one. With the summer coming up, and my recent (temporary) break from midwifery school, I'm going to have a lot more of them. It feels good. Really good. In our house we don't do a lot of structured play time. Rarely do we sign the girls up for camps or activities, which makes us the black sheep family of the girls' school. There are days I wonder (loudly) why they are home so often, and then I remember that I want this for them. I want days filled with playing with friends, and of course, ice cream.
Let the break begin.