We've never been very good at recreation.
Work? We're good at work. Overcommitment? Down pat. "Messy house" – mastered.
But play? We forget about play most days.
And so when I whispered to Pete on Sunday that I had a pair of loaner kayaks lined up and was hoping we could put down our to-do list and slip away for the afternoon to the Kickapoo River, he was surprised but willing to give it a try. I packed a cooler while Pete crafted a roof rack for our car out of 2x4s, and we headed out.
A one hour drive, some finagling on how to get from the put-in to the take-out with cars and boats, and then we were off.
And it was glorious.
By the time we hauled the kayaks out of the water my face hurt from smiling, my stomach hurt from laughing, and most of my crew was soaked head to toe, sun-kissed, and exhausted from so much kayaking, swimming, mischief, and play.
It was a wonderful day.
Most of all I was taken by the joy I saw on my kids faces and they paddled and played. (Especially one who happens to be turning fourteen any day now.) So much joy in their eyes! My heart nearly burst.
And for that I am so grateful.
So to you other all-work-no-play families out there, put down the list. Do it now. Because childhood will only last about twelve seconds longer.
Borrow a boat or an inner tube or a picnic basket; put on your swimming suit or your hiking boots; grab your bikes or your canoe paddles and get out there.
Live, play, and relish these amazing people you are honored to call family.
You'll be so glad you did.