When the rules are meant to be broken…
Updated: Jul 20
Last night was the final evening of fall break. Two weeks of just being Mommy. To be honest, a night I was dreading. Because it could only mean one thing. The time has come to return to reality. The rhythm of life’s daily rush is set to ensue yet again. And I just wasn’t ready. Last night was the perfect opportunity to lose myself. To practice forgetting about the whispers of the real-world demands, and to just be present. One more time, for hours-on-end, as Mommy.
From late-afternoon on, I had the girls all to myself. And you better believe we made the most of it. Outside for five. hours. straight. And I loved every minute of it…the airplane-spying, windmill-spinning, yellow-spotted-with-streaks-of-red–leaf-collecting, M & M belly-filling, oh-we-found-another-caterpillar-watching…minute of it.
And before I knew it, there was a chill filling the evening air, and I begrudgingly began to clean up the yard, knowing Daddy wasn’t set to come home. At the same exact moment that I put away the last ball, brought in the dinner dishes from the patio table and started calling for the girls to come inside…the garage door opened. There I was, totally ready to prepare for baths, pajamas and nighttime bed stories…when I heard Miss O yell, “I’m not ready for bed! I want to keep playing…”
Well okay then. I wanted to scream back, “Me too, baby! Me too…trust me, I want this more than you.” But I didn’t. I did, however, take a minute to think. What would it hurt to let them stay up a little longer?! Not. one. little. thing. She didn’t have to twist this momma’s arm. She didn’t even have to say it twice. It was a g.o.r.g.e.o.u.s. evening. I knew in my mind that I should be getting them ready for bed. We had had a long day. No naps (ummmm….confession…no naps for the past five days…yup…Mom of the year here…). We should be getting back into a routine. But I wasn’t ready for routine. I wasn’t ready to let go of this evening. I wasn’t ready to split my time.
So, going against all motherly instincts bursting inside, and with Daddy walking through the back gate, I waved my magic wand and granted the girls’ wish. This was an evening I wanted to capture. To photograph in my mind (and with my camera) and store away for months to come. This was an evening meant, in every way possible, to break the rules.
And so we continued on. And with Daddy back home, the fun only intensified. Pulling branches of scarlet-and-golden-colored-leaves to within Baby Nugget’s reach, so she could feel just as big-and-tall as her sisters. Flipping little girls upside down until the uncontrollable giggles took their breath away. Kicking through the “shark leaves”, stomping through them, one-after-another, and then running far away, through a sea of green grass below. Spinning around-and-around-and-around until our wobbling legs could no longer hold us steady. Using finger-circle binoculars to spot airplane trails in the crystal blue sky. Claiming the colors of the incoming sunset...with Monkey of course denying the pink that Miss O so desired.
Yup…these are the moments when the rules are meant to be broken. When the handfuls of M & Ms desserts are seemingly endless. When bedtime turns into bath-time. When a 9:00 Cheerios-and-juice request is fulfilled on demand (post-teeth brushing), because so much energy was expended in our outdoor adventures. Because sometimes, every once-in-a-great-while, kids just need to be kids. To experience those “Peter Pan” moments. Of adventure. And magic. And make-believe. Even if it happens well past bedtime. To know that sometimes, having fun is just as important as following the rules. And I was so thankful last evening, for the opportunity to share that lesson with our sweet girls.