Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Afternoon

My husband has been on call since 6am Friday. Saturday was full of soccer games and play dates, but this afternoon was wide open and schedule free. The weather was divine, so I decided on an impromptu outdoor adventure.

We set off on our bikes (one mama + three 8 year olds for two hours) to explore what might be happening around town, a riverside park and an ice cream shop our only two planned destinations.

The weather was perfect. The faces were cute. It was the recipe for a storybook Sunday afternoon. But I live in real life, not fiction.

There was sibling rivalry over who got to be first, who wasn't going fast enough and whose fault it was when someone wiped out. We encountered unexpected obstacles. The park was incredibly crowded. Both ice cream shops on our route were closed.

Hungry. Tired. Hot. Stretched. Fearful. Frustrated. I may or may not have declared a few minutes near the homestretch as 'silent riding unless it is an emergency.'

Interspersed with the tears and tempers there were also moments of laughter, snaggle toothed smiles, enthusiastic "woo hoo"s and accomplishment of challenging tasks. Little muscles were being exercised and built--in bodies, hearts, and character.

As my husband frequently reminds me when family outings go a little off kilter--this is the point. Learning is a process. Real life is often 90% work and toil for the 10% reward. There are no short cuts to authentic character development...in our children or in ourselves. If we want to learn to 'do hard things' we have to be willing to deal with the sweat & tears. 

Even on the best days, life is an imperfect adventure. There are hills. There are scrapes. We get tired. Joy is found in celebrating it anyway.

3 comments:

shannon said...

The last picture is wonderful! A mom in her glory with her kiddos! God Bless!!!

The Niemeyer Nest said...

Cute picture! I expect the 10% reality way more than I should. Reality with a 1 year old and a 3 year old is there is lots of learning!

Peter and Nancy said...

It's so important to remember that our kids learn while they're making mistakes, breaking rules, bickering . . . though it's hard to do that in the moment! Thanks for the reminder.
Nancy