The past two months have been filled with gloriously cool open-the-windows-and-feel-the-breeze weather around here. At this point in the spring, there is an unspoken urgency in the air to get out and enjoy it, because experience has told us that in a few short weeks it will be so hot that any outside play will require being drenched with either water or sweat.
Today was the first day of air-conditioning, a sign of the sweltering months bearing down upon us. I felt the too-warm breezes of summer breathing down my neck, and became almost frantic in my desire to 'do something' outdoors, seize the day, and all of that.
I have repeatedly shooed children away from the television/computer and urged them to get out in the back yard, only to turn around and find them underfoot again. Yesterday I took a slew of neighborhood kids to the park after school, and every last one of them was whining to go home and play inside. Then today my friend came over with her boys, and we sat out on the patio to chat, only to turn around twenty minutes later and realize that all of the kids had gone inside and were playing in Tommy's room. But at least the moms got to enjoy the back yard, I suppose.
After school, I again sent the kids into the back yard. After a suspiciously long time without hearing any arguing, I went to the 'clubhouse' out back, certain that I was going to find them playing some elaborate treasure hunt game. Nope. They had gone inside and were parked in front of the computer feeding someone's Webkinz who was 89% hungry.
It was at that point that I went into the back yard with the intention of attempting the impossible: pushing the kids on the swing until they were tired of it. Please understand this has never happened before. I wasn't even sure if it was possible. It wasn't. We played out there until I had to beg off to go fix dinner, then right after dinner I had to promise to take them bike riding just so I wouldn't have to push them on the swing any more.
Greg and I took them down to the school parking lot, and there we stayed until sunset. We had a great time. Gracie rode her bike by herself for the first time. All of a sudden, she can turn and stop and start without screaming in terror or needing any help from me (thank you Jesus). So I was finally able to sit and watch the bike riding, while the kids got red-faced and sweaty like all good American children should do.
My second favorite moment was Tommy's comment to me on the way home: "Mom, it seems like we've been living outside all day!"
My very favorite moment: 3 children, wet-haired and smelling like soap, so exhausted they fell immediately asleep.
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