Friday, March 1, 2013

A Change in Routine

I am not a routine kind of girl. If I do the same thing three weeks in a row, I feel like it is a major achievement and that it must be time to shake things up. Unfortunately, kids thrive in a routine. At least mine do. Our days and weeks are structured, sometimes down to the minute. So, whenever I have the chance, I break free from the routine and try to show my guys how fun it can be to be spontaneous.

While my husband went on a fun trip with his friends, we decided to take a trip to McDonald's and eat dinner at the playground in our neighborhood. I told them that any ideas were free game - we would just do whatever sounded fun. They wanted to eat on the table instead of on the benches so that's what we did.

We had races down the parallel slides and I climbed with them up the jungle gym. We practiced swinging and touching the clouds with our feet. We giggled at my little one as he tried to imitate everything his brother did.  It was absolute freedom. My oldest, though, was ready to move on. "Let's go to the basketball courts!!" he shouted. Never mind that we didn't have a ball or even shoes. We were going for it.

We ran down the sidewalk to the tennis and basketball courts and found something wonderful. "MOMMY! SOMEBODY LEFT A TENNIS BALL!" We had struck gold. They threw the ball and chased it back and forth down both courts. They spun around and tried to throw it in the basketball hoops. But mostly, they just ran. They ran like my golden retriever used to do when, finally, he was off his leash. With wild abandon.

We headed home as the sun went down and drove around the neighborhood with the windows down. My boys were asleep minutes after their evening adventure and I was left feeling renewed. We all need to change our routine sometimes and do something unexpected. We all need to follow our crazy ideas, even if it's just for a few hours on a Monday.

How do you break from routine and teach your kids the value of spontaneity

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