I took Sage and Lupine on a Mystery Day field trip yesterday.
The entire thing was spontaneous. I woke early, a full homeschooling day before us, and was dreaming up ideas for something special we might do. When the kids awoke I sprang the idea on them: Mystery Day? Yes, yes! We rushed through our chores, packed a picnic, and dashed to the car.
They were excited, playful, joyful. So was I.
It's been a while since we've done a field trip like this. And they are growing up. Their needs and interests are so different now. At some point I wondered if Mystery Day would still hold the magic that it did when they were small. But in the end, this Mystery Day turned out to be the best one yet.
We didn't get home until 11 PM, hours after I should have been asleep, and each of us had a fantastic time. We can't wait to do it again. (And again, and again.)
Our first stop was lunch with my Dad, something that came together literally on our drive to the city. (Lots of pulling over, texting, driving, pulling over again, more texting, more driving.) They don't see my parents as often as they'd like so everyone was thrilled. He even bought dessert!
From there we had a few more stops that took us through from lunchtime until long after we should have been in bed. It was such fun, none of us wanted to quit. And the discoveries we made! Oh, more on that another day when I have a bit more time to write. But somehow this simple, spontaneous field trip feels like it cracked our homeschool wide open with possibilities.
We've done these surprise filed trips since they were 3 and 7, me choosing a secret destination and them jumping in blindly to see what unfolds. And today – so suddenly - I stand here with a 10 and 14 year old beside me, one of them who can look me level in the eyes. And I can't help but wonder at how time has unfolded so quickly.
After I tucked into bed last night, my mind still busy with all of the day's events, I thought that perhaps this is my dessert. Dessert to the hard work of motherhood; to the ache of watching my children grow up before my very eyes.
This joy. This delight in time spent together. This marveling at their unique personhood. This friendship.
Because with a bit of luck (and a lot of hard work) we can stay connected as they silently move from being the people we take care of to becoming these inspiring, amazing people that we just feel lucky to spend time with.
The smallness is mostly gone, but the journey is still rich with magic, connection, and depth.
And for that I am so grateful.