Seven, Three, and Simplicity

In the past three months, Jude has turned seven, Ramona has turned three, and I’ve been lucky enough to have at least one or two really wonderfully simple days with the kids.

For Jude’s seventh birthday party, we created a pop-up adventure playground for him and his friends. For around two hours, the kids (and adults!) used different materials to create some really amazing things (houses, boats, etc.). We had huge cardboard boxes on that that we had picked up from a not-so-local recycling center; large cardboard tubes from bolts of fabric; paper bags; fabric; markers; tape; scissors; and a bunch of other things. Oh! Also, cupcakes. Lots of those, as well.

Ramona’s birthday party was a bit more low-key than her brother’s. We invited friends to join us at a local park and play there for a few hours. We decorated and brought snacks and coffee to share, of course. And THERE WERE MANY CUPCAKES, as well. It was a lovely morning that melted into a lunch out with friends (lovely!) and our first family outing to play putt-putt (so fucking miserable).

And then, today! We had such a nice day, today. Mostly, this summer has been lacking in the heat department, but today was 90-degrees-hot. To be honest, after testing the waters on a short 2-mile run this morning, I didn’t want to take the kids out to get sweaty and tired. And, since Jude has circus camp in the afternoons, I figured that chilling out at home was a better idea than expending all his energy before four hours of constant movement and exertion. So. We stayed home. Jude spent a good bit of the morning Skyping with a friend while playing Minecraft with her on his Realm. Ramona and I worked our way through the awesome birthday gifts she was given: reusable stickers, a board game, some crayons and paper… Then, when I had to stop to wash dishes and make lunch, Jude happily took a break from the computer to hang out with Ramona, which was a real gift. We ate lunch, and then I helped Jude get ready for camp. After seeing him off, Ramona and I continued to play with her new toys. This time, water colors and paper tape and some sort of magnetic-y sand. And then, when I realized we needed to go to the market to get stuff for dinner, the girl happily got ready and walked along side me to the market.

The best part of the day was that it ended as well as it began. Jude and I read for about an hour together-a rare treat these days. We usually top out at about 30 minutes or so. Because circus camp require so much energy, we try to make sure he can be in bed by 8pm, and we ‘re lucky if we’re finished with dinner by 7:30pm. But, tonight Ramona wanted yogurt after she finished her ice cream, so I continued to read and read and read. Finally, the kids had used the bathroom, brushed their teeth, and changed their clothes… sleep came quickly for them both. Soon, it will be my turn.