A friend of mine recently told me about a book that she had been reading about a mother with a large family (who, no doubt, homeschools, right?) who made it a priority to spend time alone with each child on a regular basis AND take a "mother's sabbath" for herself.
Well, I am one for always clinging to and claiming good ideas. And that's just what I did today.
Mike and I arranged for him to stay home, take of the duties of meal preparation, schooling, seeing children off to play-dates and such, while I took AN ENTIRE EIGHT HOURS to spend some time decompressing (this sadly and often translates to "shopping", or more safely put- "browsing").
I spent the day in Northampton, MA- a town that is near and dear to my heart. Not only did I spend a considerable amount of time there during my high school and college days, but Mike and I celebrated our marriage there nearly eight years ago.
Ahhh, what a day. No strollers to push, no jackets to zip. No requests for mass quantities of scones at bakeries ("just ONE please"). No little faces to wipe or requests to "hold my hand". I was free to browse shops without the fear of merchandise being, well, destroyed. Do you know how easy it is to walk in and out of a building without having to push a stroller with one hand whilst keeping the door propped for two other children to pass through? Yes, you probably do.
Now don't get me wrong. My children are a delight to me and while they are, shall we say, "energetic", I do believe that overall they are well-mannered and travel well. But to say that I did not enjoy my day flying solo would be nothing short of a lie.
A few high interesting finds...
I was (of course) thinking mostly of the children as I browsed around these lovely and unique shops. And I did see some adorable French flash cards by EbOO that would really enhance our (meager attempt at learning) French (lessons). Along with a little box of beeswax for molding and modeling.There are some amazingly funky shoes in Northampton that you just won't find where we live. I think I saw about FIVE pairs for each of us that I just loved. Who can resist felted wool?
A great debate about whether or not to purchase a hat that (I might never wear because it wasn't exactly my style, but I loved the IDEA of) I tried on about a half dozen times took place at Faces. My (not seen nearly enough) practical side won out in the end.
Essentials. Need I say more for any of you who have even been into this store. It should be illegal for one store to be home to so many of one's obsessions and passions. French tableware/glassware, oilcloth, baby blankets, eclectic children's toys, unique stationary and right as I was leaving I saw an adorable wood-beaded necklace. Ouch. That one hurt walking away from.In the end I left only with a thank you card. Yes, one card.
I have to admit that by the end of the day I felt a bit lonely and really missed being with my family. I guess the point of getting away for solitude's sake is being alone.
Coming home felt like a real event and I relished every minute of settling back into the "swing of things". I really like the way things swing in our home. And I think that more than anything, I became grateful and content for the life I live. My day away made me really appreciate the three little lives that have been given to Mike and I to raise and love and teach.