Perhaps they should consider moving Mother’s Day to Memorial Day because this weekend, for the first time in a long time, we had an absolutely glorious time.
This weekend marks the turn over from six months of harsh, hobbit-like weather. I feel like, for the past half of a year we have holed up in our house, lips chapped dry from the forced heat, eyes the shape of squares from staring at electronic devices too long, skin pale from lack of sun, in a constant state of annoying each other. Outside of the house was a terrain so unwelcoming you need to suit up just to enter.
But not this weekend! This weekend it was lush and green. And the the sun warmed your skin like a hug from someone you missed deeply but had given up hope of ever seeing again. For once the cold basement was a welcomed addition to our house, not a place to avoid.
Saturday night Adam took Jack to a Cubs game. But not just any game, this one they let 9 lucky boys onto the field to stand in the position of one of the nine players. Jack was one of them.
Ian Happ personally signed a baseball for him.
Then, the next day, we packed up toys, towels, a picnic lunch, the tent, chairs, the wagon, a portable table, slathered the kids in sunscreen and headed for the beach.
It was 90°F out, so hot that our feet burned when walking on the sand. The water, in contrast, was a chilly 58°F.
Ben and Aaron, my more sensory kids started the day running into the freezing water then laying on the sand like beached whales, warming themselves in the sun.Jack and Sam created together.And there was more! Water fights.They dug this huge hole and buried both twins in. Then later they used the hole for some game where they poured water in then dug with all their might, laughing all the way. They spent hours shell and rock collecting.
They also did ‘shark races’ from the water to the shore.
And threw the football around a bit… We had a picnic lunch.Then, ice cream!
There was some other really great moments too. Like when Ben was lagging behind the group, Jack ran back, took the chair he was carrying from him, and walked next to him.
Finally we went home and cleaned up. Ben and Aaron’s hair took three washes to get all the sand out. But it was totally worth it. The next morning Ben asked if we could go to the beach again. When he asked he did so with a bright red, sunburned face.
So, instead we headed up to the Botanical gardens.
It was another scorcher of a day, but luckily there was a strong wind that changed the weather from soupy to delightful.
We spent hours walking the gardens.
We smelled and touched in the sensory garden.
We played tag on the lawn.
We found a dead bird and a few dead fish. (And live ones too!)
We had races in the maze.
Sometimes we just sat and chatted. At one point Jack was giving out math quizzes to the younger siblings. They loved the challenge!
I think the best part of the weekend was that both days we brought the kids some where picturesque and kid friendly then let the day define itself. I loved seeing them out soaking up precious vitamin D. I loved watching them exercising their bodies. But mostly I loved watching us interact as a family, making jokes, interacting and bonding, holding hands, playing tag or running races.