A few weeks ago, my husband asked why I always try to do too much with the girls on the weekends. “They don’t have fun, and then you don’t have fun,” he said. There may have been some truth to that.
I’ve always been busy. I moved away from home at 18 and worked two jobs while going to school. Now with two kids, a job and a blog, I am still busy. But I still like to go out to events and activities and, sometimes, just explore. I am also a planner. When I take a trip to my hometown or other places I’ve lived before, I have a tendency to plan out every day and every meal before I leave to make sure I see everyone I can while I’m there. But being out of a routine is hard on kids, and that kind of schedule is hard to maintain. So I’m learning to chill out a little bit, to roll with things, to leave things flexible. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m staying home all weekend.
Mr. G and I met in Yuma, and I’ve been wanting to go visit ever since we moved back to Arizona. It hadn’t worked out yet, so I thought we could go last weekend during the fair. It turned out Mr. G had to work, and I didn’t think the fair could work out since Peanut is too little to ride rides and Pumpkin is too little to ride them by herself. But some friends we were hoping to see were going to be in town (they frequently travel on weekends) so the girls and I decided to take the day trip anyway.
We kept the plans loose. Stop by the house when we get into town, we’ll take it from there. I thought of several other people I could call to say we’d be there. But I didn’t, and although it would’ve been great to catch up with more friends, it was really nice to focus on visiting with one family, and to make sure the girls were good, too.
Along the three-hour drive there, the girls were great and I didn’t even bring them any devices to play with. An hour out, Peanut fell asleep, and soon after Pumpkin started in on the classic, “Are we there yet?” About 20 miles away from our exit, I asked her to help me keep an eye out for our exit number, and that helped keep her occupied the remainder of the drive.
Once we got into town, we stopped by our friends’ house. My girls played with their daughter a bit, we went to lunch, and then to Castle Park, which was awesome! It was pretty hot out though, so we switched to a covered playground after a while, and then after a couple hours of playing, we went back to the house to cool off and freshen up for a few minutes, and then the girls and I were back on the road. I had considered the fair might still be an option, or visiting the Territorial Prison or the petting zoo. But that would have been too much. Instead, we had a lovely day catching up with old friends, picked up some rolled tacos on the way out of town, and stopped at Dateland for a date shake to cap off the day.
While we were there, Pumpkin gave me a hug, and thanked me. “You knew just what I wanted to do today, Mommy,” she said.
Sometimes simpler really is better.