It seems like there is so much happening in life now that spring has sprung. The kids have tons of end of year activities, there are more events happening that we enjoy as a family, and the energy is alive as the flowers start to bloom and the veggies grow a bit higher each day. Hopefully, soon, the sunshine and warmth will also decide to spring.
Last weekend was a holiday weekend here. Erwin and the boys had off Thursday and Friday, and we decided to do some remodeling to our home, which took us the entire weekend to complete (well, complete? it's still not complete, but it's getting there...) And we are all happy with the changes, giving us a bit more breathing space and less junk filling every nook and cranny in our home.
The boys were set off on their own as we worked. I asked for them to do a few chores when they complained of being bored, but in general they were given free reign to do as they pleased while Erwin and I worked. They had time to play in the yard, soccer, computer, playstation, board games, toys all at their fingertips. And both of them thoroughly enjoyed just being home, having noplace to be, no time restrictions, no schedule.
As a family, our weekends are usually filled to overflowing with activity. We have soccer and Judo and shopping and a visit to oma and opa...we have an event or two thrown in here or there, a day to the playground (which we did do as a family on Sunday after "neglecting" the kids for a few2 days) or something that sound slike fun, such as visits to a museum or castle or the woods. Some days it feels as if we are gone from morning to night, making it home just in time to tuck the kids into bed so we can start it all again the next day.
And I (we) sincerely enjoy it, all the activities we do as a family. However, it was so nice to have no place to be, nothing pressing to do, able to just do what we needed to do and do it all at home. And what was interesting to me, was how the kids reacted to it. Both of them were in seventh heaven and commented time and again how much fun it was to just stay home. Even without our full attention, they were perfectly content finding things at home to keep them entertained. They didn't need to be out and about to stay busy. They didn't need tickets to this or that or a packed lunch or to put on their seatbelts. They were free.
We do lots as a family to keep us busy, having new experiences, learning, seeing new things. We all enjoy days out doing things together, whether it be a walk in the woods or a day at an amusement park. We tend to get along better when we're out of the house (once we're gone...the getting to and from a place is always an issue, esp as Kaeden adjusts to something new taking place...but we've all learned to deal with this and expect it). However, what I learned this weekend is that maybe we try to do too much. Maybe what we see as a relaxing day out, away from home, is not quite as relaxing to our kids as we perceive it to be. Maybe we need to try to just stay home more often, enjoying our home and our family in the place we've set our roots. We can still go out and enjoy all these other trips and experiences, but in smaller doses. Maybe our boys need home to be a place they can have fun too, not just fun away from home.
I think in the world today, kids are forced to grow up too fast, have too many activities to attend, too many pressures. And though I sincerely believe that Erwin and I balance our kids lives well, keeping them busy but not overwhelmed, maybe we need to consider balancing our family time home and away from home a bit more equally. This past weekend showed me that home is a place to enjoy life as much as it is a place to sit down, eat, sleep, and live.