Every Day. I mean it. Every day. I try to find fun or make fun every single day. Sometimes fun finds me. Sometimes I have to go in search of it. But fun will be had if I have any say in the matter. This summer has been a rocky road for our family. My husband Josh, has been unwell for 16 weeks and isn’t able to work, drive a car or participate in almost any activities. Noise and light bother him greatly, so he needs to stay in the quiet setting of our home as much as possible. We pray each day that he will have an easier day than the last, but that usually doesn’t happen. The kids miss their dad as much as he misses participating in activities with them.
Mornings like today, we walked the Boardwalk at Fireman’s Park in Chaska. We love this walkway. The fish, the geese, the turtles sunning themselves on the logs. We love it. The breeze was beautiful and made the straight on hot sun bearable. We then headed to Shakopee to hit a garage sale or two and then we found the garage sale festival on a large church lawn. It was fantastic. We found a bunch of items we actually needed and then a bunch of fun things for the kids and for our home. I may have only spent about 10 or so dollars but found some fantastic things I can check off my list, and the kids enjoyed the dogs and babies and searching for a few treasures.
And, just like every Saturday morning, we then headed to the Chaska library. The library often feels like our second home. Lily is working diligently on her summer curriculum which includes completing one book report a week and handing it into the library as she participates in the summer reading program. She loves looking for new books and discovering what is new each week at the library. She visits with the librarians and settles down in the far back recesses to start a new adventure in one of the new books she selected. Zach loves watching videos he knows and loves in foreign languages on youtube. He sorts through all the DVD’s in search of three of his favorites, and they stay close at hand and keep him company during his computer discovery time. He then will walk back to the front and sift through the stacks of Spanish Language children’s books hoping to find a new treasure such as Dora or something to do with Holiday’s or Changing Season’s.
No matter what my kids choose to do at the library, they always leave saying they had fun. They always leave agreeing, that a good morning was had by all. I am not creating fun for my kids. I am providing the opportunity for fun to be discovered. The tools are there, the fun is the available for the taking.
Later today, we will swim, and lay on the deck. We will watch cute dogs on the walking paths and wait for the flutter of hummingbird wings to grace us with their presence. The kids will retreat to color and play Legos and discover lost treasures in their rooms while we wait for the afternoon sun to calm down just a bit. We will reconvene for dinner and decide when to leave for a nice brisk stroll through the neighborhood. When my kids rest their weary heads and settle in with a few good books, we will talk about the fun that we had. We will talk about where we went and what we saw. We will talk about the fun that can be found in each new day.
I have never been one to plan grand adventures for my kids nor have I felt the need to constantly entertain them or keep them busy. My goal is to give them the tools and then help to foster their imagination. I want to help them find fun, and joy and happiness in the simple, in the mundane. I want them to end each day believing it was a day well lived. I want them to end each day excited about the possibilities of what a new day has to offer.
When I was a child, we didn’t have much. We had food on our table, clothes to wear and a bed to sleep in. We had family that we loved. And to us, that was enough. That was plenty. We felt rich because we didn’t know any different. We thought that how we lived was how all kids lived. Playing outside, riding bikes, adventures in open fields and in the dark woods. It never dawned on me to ask my parents to take me anywhere unless we wanted to swim. And then, of course, my mom always said yes as she enjoyed swimming as much as we did. Simple days were spent together, outdoors and enjoying all of God’s creation
I want my kids to admire the shape and color of leaves. I want them to go in search of pine cones and discarded nuts and polished beautiful rocks. I want to see my daughter tuck in her dolls for a long nap under the large shade tree in our front yard and use it as an excuse to slumber in the hot afternoon sun. I want to see my son bellow at the birds and declare his love for every dog that passes our house or that walks past us while we are on a walk. I want my kids to identify what they like to do, what they believe is fun and what brings them joy daily. And then I want them to do that. To go there. To experience it often. And always want more. To declare each new day as an adventure to be had. Not to waste a moment.
Today, our fun was had by noon. How exciting we have the rest of the day to create more.
Catch more of Kelli J. Gavin with her other entries at The Ugly Writers:
Check her own website here.