Have you ever risen on a Saturday morning after a much needed sleep-in session, looked outside at the beautiful sunny sky, then looked at your messy house, laundry, and empty fridge and decided the sunshine has to take a backseat to chores? Regrettably I do it all the time. My busy work-week schedule leaves me little time to catch up on errands, laundry, and de-griming the house, so Saturdays or Sundays (sometimes both) are usually reserved for the crappy stuff.
But this past weekend was different. On Saturday morning I was the first to wake up (at 9:15 AM – score!), so I started the day with 30 minutes of peace and Food Network shows until the rest of the crew decided to join the living. It was during that time I chose to give the middle finger to my dusty hardwood floors and skyscraper sized piles of laundry, to turn up my nose to the grocery list on my counter, and turn a blind eye to Junior’s disaster of a playroom. On Saturday I wanted to play outside. I did not want to see the inside of Wal Mart, Target, or Trader Joe’s. I did not want to open my container of Mr. Clean with Febreze scent. I did not want to clean toilets. So I didn’t.
I jokingly classify myself in a number of less-than-desirable ways. OCD, type-A, and a slightly less extreme version of Monica Gellar from Friends are a few that come to mind. Granted these are all a little exaggerated (maybe?) but I will certainly admit that I’m one of those people who needs to be doing something all the time. I can always look around and see something that needs tidying or decide at 9:00 PM that I’m going to bake a cake. Even when I’m watching TV at night I’m folding laundry or dusting or organizing Junior’s stuff. At 34, I still haven’t learned the fine art of vegging out, unless there’s a hangover in play and I have no choice (which has only happened once or twice since I became a mother). So for me to declare to my husband that I just wanted to goof off was a little perplexing for both of us.
So here’s what we did… We ate breakfast at our leisure. We watched cartoons with Junior. We went for a long walk and let our new rescue dog swim in the lake for the first time. [Side note: for a moment I thought I was going to have the only golden retriever on earth who doesn’t like the water. She heaved herself into the lake with reckless abandon as soon as the tennis ball left my husband’s hand — and promptly sank. She found her way up but was utterly confused about where the sturdy ground went. My husband yanked his shoes and socks off so fast and was prepared to go in after her. She figured it out eventually.] I digress… After the walk we fixed sandwiches at home and then filled up Junior’s exquisite inflatable pool with the garden hose. I sat in a chair in the sun and watched him. I didn’t pluck weeds out of the flower beds or mow the grass or wash windows or clean the grill. I just sat there and watched him make pretend soup in his embarrassingly cheap swimming vessel. Then we got extra fancy and hooked up the sprinkler so he could run through it 1000 times. I ran through it too, in my clothes. He laughed so hard at his silly mommy getting her shorts all wet. As the afternoon wound down we decided to get showered and head to a local (kid-friendly) brewery to sit outside and listen to some music. We met friends and enjoyed a few hours outside in the comfortable summer breeze. Junior danced and ran around and ate dinner from a food truck. My husband and I had a beer and caught up with our friends. When we got home Junior brushed his teeth and fell fast asleep, and I watched a movie on TV that I’d already seen 250 times.
When I went to bed on Saturday night the floors still needed to be mopped and the laundry was still piled up. I still didn’t have eggs or milk in the fridge. But I spent a whole day having fun with my little boy, my husband, and my crazy dog, and felt that good tired feeling that you get after a busy day. The moral of the story? It’s OK to take a day and chuck “responsibility” out the window. I don’t do it often enough and that will probably never change. On Sunday I was right back at it – grocery store, prepping meals for the next few days, doing laundry. But we still found time to head to the playground for a while…