I love those moments when you break out of your normal routine to do something and it becomes a magical time with your kids. I tend to get into a rut and think that in order to do something with the kids like go to a park, feed the ducks, take a walk... I need x amount of time and x amount of planning. As any of you know life often just gets in the way of things you "plan" to do... Sometimes you have to quit thinking and just do! (ring a bell? I talked about this in January - finally walking my talk!)
Anyway - after one of Karen's speech therapy session a couple of weeks ago, I broke out of my/our rut. The weather was GORGEOUS! The first several days in a row of really nice weather this year. Carl was in the field and working late and I remembered that I still had the stroller in the back of the Suburban. Instead of loading the kids up at 3pm for an hour drive home... we strapped Lauren into the stroller and started walking to the park!
Karen's speech session are conveniently located just across the street from the Centennial Trail - a walk and bike trail that runs along the Spokane River. We had to walk close to a mile, but the girls did great and had so much fun looking for ducks along the way. Our first stop was the enormous red wagon slide.
Lauren could only watch the fun for so long before she joined in. She was not at all impressed to be "hindered" by my holding her down the slide but this Mama was not prepared to send her down by herself just yet! Also, somewhere along the line Megan's smile that you see above became one of fear and she refused to go down by herself (after having gone down no less than 15 times just fine by herself)... so she hitched along for the ride!
Once it started to get more crowded at the wagon, we headed for the back of the park where there is a little play structure. It is usually a little less crowded - and our luck was good. With a few exceptions we had it largely to ourselves!
We walked back through the park and stopped at a pizza place for a quick dinner. Afterwards, I let them go down towards the water to visit the ducks. The grass goes right up to the waters edge... it made me soooo nervous - but the awe and joy on their faces was totally worth the worry!
We still had the mile trek back to the car - Karen and Megan were troopers. They had to be exhausted but they had just as much fun walking back as they did on the way. It was one of those afternoons/evenings I'll remember and I know they do. Every time we leave speech now I get the question of "ducks, Mom?" :) A nice reminder to indulge in the unplanned once in a while!