When the children were little, I can’t remember exactly when, Tim began the exercise of setting apart weekly special time with just one child. We called them Special Days (we’re obviously very creative and brilliant in naming our family traditions). I looked around and found a blog post written in 2004 about our family’s practice of Special Days. Oh my goodness, time has flown!
There has been much ebb and flow in the Special Days over the years, and sadly, as the kids got older and life got busier, we weren’t faithful in making Special Days a priority. It’s ironic that, the more you NEED to stop and savor time with your (rapidly) growing teens/adults, the LESS you seem able to do so.
With the age difference between the older children (all three in college) and the younger two (in 8th and 9th grade) spanning four years, we have the opportunity try some new parenting things, return to old favorites, and really focus on this time with David and Sarah.
“I’ve decided to restart Special Days,” Tim told me just before he left to take Daniel to California.
“That’s a GREAT idea,” I said, feeling a bit left out, Special Days were always a Father/Child activity.
“But this time we’re BOTH going to do them – one child each week,” he winked at me. He’s so smart.
So this week Tim met with David. I’m not sure what all they did (maybe Tim will blog about it, hint hint). I know they hid upstairs with a notebook, pen and a book to read. And I know they went out for ice cream afterward, so I guess it was a successful first Special Day.
The week was rapidly coming to a close when Tim asked me if I had anything planned to do with Sarah.
“Uh. Um. No” I’m sure I looked a bit sheepish.
“Did you remember?”
Those are not fair questions to ask.
“Of course. I’m totally on it!” When necessary, fake it!
“You’re empty, aren’t you?” (It always comes back to movie quotes in our family. That one was a classic, Silverado, “You’re empty, Mister” line.) I was obviously not fooling Tim. Thankfully Sarah was no where in sight.
I’m not used to doing Special Days. That’s always been Tim’s father/child thing. If he took all the kids at one time, I happily stayed home and relaxed or worked (which ever was more pressing at the time). If Tim was doing a single outing, I spent time managing/watching/teaching the other 4 children. Not to mention the fact that Sarah and I just completed our Passport2Purity weekend, and I’d exhausted all the usual fun mother/daughter activities.
“Well, how about you take her out for breakfast on Saturday,” he suggested patiently.
Didn’t I say he was smart? “Perfect,” I said with relief.
So, this morning we both slept in and then set off for breakfast at the local cafe. Of course, by the time we got up and got going, it was after 10 am and the place was packed. I guess we don’t have very many good breakfast spots in our town. Now that I think about it, my mom and I had trouble in December when we tried to take a friend out for a birthday breakfast at this same spot. We ended up walking over to Starbucks across the street and enjoying some coffee and a breakfast sandwich instead.
“What are we going to do,” Sarah asked me as we looked at the list of people ahead of us on the sign in sheet.
“I have an idea,” I said, crossing off our name, grabbing her hand and heading out the door.
Well, it wasn’t a cute breakfast place, and we didn’t have a yummy meal served to us at a cozy table, but we did get a tasty sandwich wrap and some delicious coffee for me. Hey, I can’t help it that the Starbucks is right across the street.
Worrying I was rapidly blowing my first Special Day outing, I took Sarah back home, got her some more breakfast (those little wraps are costly but not very filling when it’s nearly 11 am). The sun was shining, the house was quiet, and I was struck with a brilliant idea. I played it off like it was my original plan and not a last minute thought. Heh heh.
“Sarah, we’re going to do this Mother/Daughter journal that Rachel and I started. And let’s read this Mother/Daughter book too.”
We snuggled on the love seat under a quilt, read through some journal entries, started the first chapter of 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter, and laughed together.
Whew, my first Special Day with Sarah wasn’t a total failure. Now to figure out what to do with David next week. I guess I might want to actually put some thought and planning into this.
Later we went for a walk as a family. Stopped by some friends’ house. Bought an adorable pink purse for me and 6 pairs of cute shoes for Sarah. Came home for lunch and an episode of Once Upon a Time. In the evening we sent Tim to church to start the registration for AWANA while we went to David’s best friend Eli’s first football game. Love family time and holiday weekends!
Stay tuned for more Special Day posts!
Project 365 – Day 248