We might have been upset about the missed email but we weren’t. Our morning unexpectedly free because of a cancelled lacrosse game (and some crossed wires), we find ourselves at an unexplored park and an entire day with nothing to do.
Let’s be clear. This never happens. Activities fight for calendar space in our house. Soccer. Baseball. Lacrosse. Cub Scouts. Book Club. Piano. An entire day with no plans is a gift, one we plan to take all day to unwrap.
The boys run ahead of us to the woods and race down the trodden path to the river where they friend a family geocaching. By the time, Chaz and I catch up, the other parents and six boys are digging underneath piles of dried leaves and peering into hallowed tree trunks in search of hidden treasure.
For those who may not know, geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt that uses GPS technology to help you find a “cache” that contains pirate booty. (Not really pirate booty, but that’s what we always hope to find.) Treasure seekers may take something from the cache after they add something to it. A small notebook logs the names and dates of the successful treasure hunters.
“Found it!” one of the boys yells, waving a white plastic box in the air. A hush falls as they gather round the cache to see what’s inside: a pink beaded bracelet, a broken rhinestone watch and a packet of girly stickers. The boys groan in unison.
With all the craziness life throws at us, we often forget the simple pleasure of spending the day together as a family. It’s these days we’ll remember most. What we won’t? Who batted first or who brought the after-game snacks.
I’ve written before on showering kindness on your family. We give the very best parts of ourselves to work or school and leave the grumpy dregs to the people we love most. Not today.