Exploring is by far one of our favourite family dates. We head out with what we’ve got on, a few snacks for these little gremlins (because, Heaven forbid we end up 6 minutes from home and someone is suddenly mere seconds from “Hangry”), a couple changes of clothes (because we NEVER know what could happen) and a camera. This picture was taken while exploring our backyard and where it led to from the property line, where we discovered whimsical trees, the most beautiful Fall colours, a “secret” pond, colourful berries (which we didn’t eat) and the quiet of just the wind blowing, leaves crunching under our feet, and the occasional toddler tantrum (seems there’s no escaping that one!).
To add to the lessons of life and love into our day date, we talk about how the animals raise their young within these trees, what their names are, and what they are having for dinner. Our kids are just 5 years old, and 18 months, and the power of their imagination is so important for us to embrace. Plus, sometimes it’s hilarious enough to keep a straight face when you’re told that Mr. Bird’s real name is Leenis, and he has a …well, you know.
As Nova gathered ingredients for her magic potion, she would stop along the way to mash them together with a heart-shaped rock. Smearing the colours of nature across her rocks, she left them to the side to feed any stray animals who might be making their way down the path. Luna…well, we had to keep Luna from eating the magic potion – a challenge.
Time spent with the people we love so deeply is our #1 priority, and something that is only a few years new to us. We had never recognized the opportunity to create more time together when we were giving all of it to our jobs, but thankfully, we figured it out and now we MAKE the time. Even when it’s a full moon (or, is it? All I know is that no one slept last night), getting outside to breathe in the fresh air, and to feel so small in a world so big…it just seems to ground us. We are reminded of what time together does for our spirit. Life can be so busy, and though we promote time freedom, we are also busy raising kids, and working our own businesses too, so these date reminders are not just for you, but for us too! It’s funny, but I always have to remind myself to take pictures with my husband and I, instead of just the kids, and when the sun is so bright you are blinded, you still take it and remember the good times! I sort of love these types anyway…I might save them to embarass the girls with when they’re older *slides file into “Teenage Years” folder*
Parenting can be tough thought, right? My husband is the most patient man on the face of the planet, and I strive to learn more about patience each day, so even when a date is spontaneously planned, or has been planned for a while, we can’t always expect it to be flawless. Even the simplest dates, like a gorgeous stroll through Mother Nature’s creations, someone can end up face first in a burr bush within the first two minutes.
We can’t possibly go another day having missed moments due to the hustle of life, because those of us who have kids, or plan to expand their family in the future, or are working on the process right now (we’ll post some dates for that another time *meow*), we don’t welcome these sweet spirits into our life to miss moments.
It truly is time for freedom, isn’t it? While raising these little ones, the days can sometimes seem so long, but the years seem so short. Already today, after putting Luna down for a nap, I asked Nova to talk to me…about life, school, even Christmas, and guess what, she wanted to read instead, and at that very moment I felt pride but also a little bit of sadness. It was one of those nudges from the Universe that reminded me that she won’t be little forever.
Whoa, did this just turn into a Mom blog? No. Well, sort of.
It always will be a part of these dates because that’s my #1 job – Mom. Here’s the thing though, these free dates, this time spent being blessed by simple moments, they’re memories. I want my kids to grow up remembering that Mom and Dad didn’t spend money filling their toy room, or buying them the newest clothing or gadgets, but instead, moments were made, and sometimes those moments required money, but ultimately the goal was the same: to be together.