Thursday, May 31, 2012

Time to Relax

In a word I would say that Memorial Day was relaxing. The only thing on the schedule was our next meal. We spent the holiday weekend camping with our good friends Mark & Ruth at Spruce Lake Retreat just a few hours north of us. I can literally walk to their house, yet days and weeks may go by without even seeing our friends. Life gets busy for both of our families. Mark and my husband Jeremy have similar work schedules - they put in long hours and often don't know when they'll be home. Both Ruth and I are very thankful that our husbands have jobs, but the hours can get long for us too and the kids. It was soooo good to escape life and "do nothing" for a few days.
Nothing beats cooking over the fire. Wrapped in foil is 4 year old Esther's Catch of the Day.  That girl loves to fish!  She caught several trout during the daily fishing trips.  Later we reminisced about how the men had it made hundreds of years ago.  They got to go hunting and fishing everyday!  Not just during "hunting season" when it was cold outside, but all year long.  Ruth and I enjoyed the fishing trips too - we stayed behind to catch a nap!  

Isaac found a little green worm.
Jonathan found a newt.
When the kids weren't catching fish they were catching all sorts of little critters in the woods.  We packed a few toys for them, but I think they had just as much fun playing with what they found under rocks and crawling on trees.

The children also spent many hours at the nearby playground.  I know that in the world we live today a lot of child supervision is required.  But I can't help but think of it as a "necessary evil".  As parents we have the constant stress of telling the kids - stay away from the road, look out for strangers, don't touch that!  Kids need rules and limits but they also need the freedom to make mistakes, explore their surroundings and work out they own social dilemmas. 

I was very proud of my boys as I watched them from a distance at the playground one day.  Some older twin bullies had decided to pick on Jonathan & Jason.  They stood their ground and they stuck together.  In the rules of brotherhood you're allowed to hit each other, but no one else is allowed to hit your brother.  I never told them that, but somehow they knew.  At one point I did step in because one boy was shaking Jason, but other than that I let them work it out on their own.  I love that our camping trip gave them some much needed unsupervised time. 

When Jason wasn't playing he was eating. I asked him why he decided to smear his fudgsicle all over his face - his response - "my face was hot Mommy." Stupid question I guess.

In Jonathan's spare time he liked to hold Baby Ruby. He is really looking forward to being a big brother again in the fall. He recently asked me - "Mommy, do you think the baby will like me?" "No Jonathan, I think the baby will love you!" Jonathan does do a very good job of looking out for those younger than him. I have no doubt that he'll be at his best when his new brother or sister comes along.
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