Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Joy in the journey

   My husband and I took off this weekend for an impromptu anniversary weekend away.  The planets aligned just right so that all the grandparents were available and willing to help out and watch the kids.  We decided not to plan a whole weekend but to just get in the car and drive.  This is not something we've ever done since we have had kids.  We have gotten away by ourselves a few times but never without plans; plans of where we were going, what we were doing, where we were staying, plans for the boys meals, bedtimes, activities, etc.  This time I just left everything to chance.  My mantra for the weekend (anytime I started planning ahead and getting a bit frazzled that there was NO PLAN!) was to just find the joy in the journey.  So what if it took us all day of driving on Saturday before we found a hotel and we spent the day in the car-- I'd remind myself to find joy in the journey, take a deep breath and smile.  Smile at the thought that the car was quiet, smile because my husband and I could talk without interruptions, smile since we even got to listen to comedians on Pandora and laughed like crazy together.  I loved the thought of finding joy in the journey.  I'm always so focused on the destination and the plan that I don't sit back and enjoy what's happening right now.  I realized that while it was something I really needed to practice while on vacation it's also something I should practice more with our homeschooling and family time too.   I came home determined to find joy in the everyday, in the journey of parenthood and this journey we all call life. 
    It lasted... oh.... 30 minutes.  That's how long it took before my kids were fighting and in tears.  That's how long it took for me to intervene (twice) with their behavior, and that's how long it took before I was yelling at them.  They had all been in the neighbors pool arguing and having a really difficult time of it and I decided vacation was over and it was time to get home.  Of course, no one wanted to get out of the pool and short of jumping in myself yelling and threatening were my only options.  Once home we had a difficult afternoon of it and I had to keep reminding myself that they had busy weekends too with changes to schedules and rules.  I knew they all needed a good nights rest in their own beds but since it was barely even 3:00 we had to wait it out. 
    Eventually they all started playing with the stomp rockets and my husband offered to help them get their real rocket up and running.  They had received a rocket and a few small engines from my brother in law as a Christmas gift but we had yet to get around to assembling it and setting it off.  The boys were eager to help but soon became frustrated at how complicated the instructions were (to them especially) and how difficult it was to snap pieces together.  They helped here and there but mostly they played on the swing set and watched my husband assemble it. 


    When it was finally ready to launch we headed over to a big field and the boys counted down ended with "blastoff!"  Unfortunately, the first two or three times nothing happened.  My husband is a very resourceful guy though and soon had the rocket zooming.  The boys were in awe of how high it went, how fast if took off and we were all thrilled that the parachute worked!

pushing the button; nothing happens

It finally zoomed off!

Can you see the red speck in the sky?

Here it is just a bit closer; parachute engaged. 

   Unfortunately, when the rocket came back down it landed in the two highest branches of some of the tallest trees.  My husband was going to climb up the tree and try to get the rocket down but since dead branches kept falling off and I had visions of becoming a widow on my 13th wedding anniversary I nagged him like crazy to get back down.  They all tried throwing rocks at the branch/ rocket to try and shake it loose and talked about ways to prevent this from happening next time.  I promised the boys I'd buy another rocket and we found a few for only $8-$12 on Amazon.  The boys talked about what makes a rocket work, how it takes off, why it falls back to Earth, etc.  They inspected the launch pad and looked at the soot and burn marks left on both sides of the disk.  It was such a fun end to our day. 
see the red and orange waaay up in the tree? 

One side of the launch disk

the back side of the launch disk

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