I have discovered that Friday is not my day. By Friday I have been with the kids for 5 straight days. I am tired, cranky and not very patient. Staying home makes things worse. By Friday I tend to see the pile of laundry, dishes or other chores around the house as more important than the kids. Friday just wasn't working for us.
So I declared a new holiday: Friday Fun Day. It is magnificent! We get out of the house as soon as possible after Lilly's am nap. That means that I am packing a picnic lunch instead of cleaning the bathroom. It means I only do the breakfast dishes, or not. It means we go to Yogurt Land for a treat, or In and Out for lunch. It means we take our time, and spend the whole afternoon out. It means a meandering hike, or hours at the park. It means a special day just for the 4 of us.
We begin discussing ideas for FFD on Thursday and I let the boys pick what we will do. They get pretty excited about it. I love how we can take something as simple as giving a day a new name, and it turns into an adventure. I am a firm believer in elevating the everyday. And with 2 FFDs under my belt, I am a firm believer in them, too. I return so refreshed. Instead of spending the day fed up and begrudging the time I have given to my children all week, I am fully present and spend the day enjoying them. Revolutionary thought, I know. But, it is working for me.
2 weeks ago we celebrated the inaugural FFD at El Dorado Nature Center. It is one of our most favorite places, so it was a fitting place to begin. We love the turtles sunning as we walk in across the bridge.We love the interpretive center where we check out bones and how the world looks through a bug's eyes.
We love looking for fish in the pond.
Lilly loves the ducks that waddle right up to her and check her out. She thinks she'd like to pet one.
We love collecting lots of sticks and hanging out on all the bridges and pretending to fish. Creeks and sticks are two of God's gifts to little boys.
We love the quiet and the tranquility of this place. A place where we can see a pair of wild Canadian geese on their way back north.
We love to stop and watch them, draw a picture of them in our nature notebooks and, yes, laugh about how much they poop.
We love seeing a bee hive, especially since William wants to be a honeybee when he grows up. Now he knows what his future looks like.
We love playing pooh sticks on every, single bridge we cross.
It was a pretty peaceful afternoon. Until, The Duck Incident.
We were all hanging out on one of the bridges. The boys were busily playing pooh sticks while I nursed Lilly. Every so often a trio of ducks would come floating down the stream, and when they came to our bridge, they'd climb out, waddle across the path and get back into the water. The bridges are too low for them to swim under, so they get out. They pretty much ignored us. It is mating season, so the boy ducks are focused on the girls ducks and the girl ducks are focused on getting away from the boy ducks. Anyway, the boy ducks were trying to show off and would do some wild antics every now and then. Often this entailed stretching out their wings and quacking loudly.
As another trio floated toward us, the boys leaned way over the bridge, rather close to the ducks. And then, the 2 boy ducks, stretched both wings and necks, and quacking fiercely, flew right at the boys heads. I screamed like a crazy lady, jumped up with Lilly attached to me and ran to protect my boys.
By that time, the ducks had settled quietly in the water on the other side of the bridge and were floating away. Oh. I guess they just felt like flying over the bridge instead of walking around it. They weren't attacking my sons. Whew!
Boy did we have a long laugh after that one. I screamed loud. It was funny. It actually took James a few minutes to decide he wasn't scared. Those ducks did come awfully close to their heads. For the rest of the hike, he gave ducks a wide berth. If he grows up with a fear of ducks, I wouldn't be surprised.
Despite our run in with the ducks, I would call our first Friday Fun Day a success. I came home to a house that was messy, but I was in the frame of mind to deal with it. Nicely. It was the kind of day when I could say, "I really loved being with you guys today." I am looking forward to many years of Friday Fun Days.