As I was snuggling Christopher I thought about the complete craziness that had been the past weeks. Several weekends in a row we had been traveling, Mark was gone, or the kids went to Grammy and Pop pops for one reason or another.
What would you like to do today? I asked. I was looking forward to that Saturday of focusing on them. He smiled and said “can we do the alphabet puzzle and count the letters?”. The simplicity of the request caught me off guard. Given an open question, he chose that?
I find it amazing the activities the kids seem to enjoy the most, how simple they often are. They do not need hours of searching pinterest and prepping. Simplicity… why is it so hard a concept? I fantasize big projects and long trips. He asks to count letters with me.
For the few days following that Saturday I decided to watch what they really enjoyed. What did I discover they loved?
Counting things. Anything. Both of them. “Let’s count the windows on this airplane” “let’s count the letters”
Finding flowers. Christopher asked to go to the front yard and look at the flowers with me.
Snuggling… sometimes. Christopher is far more of a snuggler then Natalia, but they both enjoy it.
Watching cupcake wars with me. No seriously, that is one of my son’s most requested activities. To snuggle with me and watch “the cake show!”
Sitting in the hammock. Both love this so very much. Ahh… rats. Snuggling with kids in the hammock? How dreadful ;)
Helping. Anyway they can. They both really seem to like sprinkling seasoning on chicken, and Christopher asks to butterfly chicken anytime we are having chicken.
Sitting on the front porch, with me, watching the _____________ <trucks, bicycles, cars, someone mowing (I usually do not join in this activity as I don’t really want to be the weird neighbor sitting there watching you mow).
Learning. They love to ask questions and explore things together.
Going outside. Period.
Hugs and kisses. This always makes them smile.
Mark and I doing nothing bit sitting in the same room as them. Perfect for impromptu performances with both parents watching.
Reading books. I was cleaning up the other day when Christopher saw me carrying a pile of books “can we READ THOSE?” It was so very, very cute. Of course as we read we also have to count many things, and pretend we are eating any food on the pages.
I am amazed at how simple the things they love doing are. There are not really any major preparations needed, often just me willing to set things aside and get on their level. But, when I think of some of my favorite things: reading, visiting with friends, sitting at the dinner table with my family, snuggling with Marks– it is not so much of a surprise.
Why is it felt like the more complicated, the more prep, the cooler the activity? I think my kids would much rather me spend the time I would planning and prepping simply looking at and discussing a book with them.
Now do not get me wrong more extensive activities are fun, but not necessarily what I want to spend my entire life doing. Simple and un-rushed sounds amazingly pleasant.
Personally, I remember the family vacations, the full day trips to Bass Pro Shop, ect. ect. with great fondness. Just like I remember walking down to the local gas station and picking out an ice cream treat. My favorite memories of growing up has to be sitting around the table after a meal as my mom read us a story. It still makes me smile!