Our family thrives on routine.
Well, I thrive on routine. Our kids don't really have much choice in the matter. Maybe having more spontaneity in their lives would be better for one or more of them, but unfortunately, they're stuck with me for a mother, and I just don't handle last minute changes well. Or change at all, really, unless I've been given plenty of time to mull it over and prepare myself.
Basically I'm the most exciting person alive.
One part of our family's daily routine is the post-supper play hour. This is the one time each workday that we get to spend together, all five of us. Our kiddos are still a bit young to be in any extra-curricular activities, and I'm actually trying to hold them off for as long as possible at this point, just to help preserve this family time we have together each evening.
And because I'm a socially awkward hermit. But I usually just cite the first reason.
If it's at all warm outside, we play out in the backyard. The evening usually looks something like this:
Atticus plays soccer or golf or frisbee at a skill level that is coming close to out-stripping my own. He's usually just what this photo depicts: a blur.
Derek plays with him. Sometimes I join in, but usually stop when I get tired of being laughed at or when I feel I've hit my daily quota of closing my eyes and squealing when a ball comes toward me. I've noticed a number of people walking their dogs on the other side of the fence, and I sometimes wonder if it's a feminist out there, cringing every time she hears me.
Sometimes we can even coerce Adelaide into playing with us. But not on this day, obviously.
Caedmon is usually up for about anything. I think that evening he was trying to hide from the camera behind my scarf, and it quickly became a fun game for him and a strangle-session for me. Seems like a pretty accurate metaphor for motherhood in general, actually.
We've had a few evenings this fall that have been too cool to play outdoors, so we stayed in and played a family favorite: Hide and Seek.
You should know something about me: I'm awesome at Hide and Seek.
I once won a game of Hide and Seek at a neighbor's house by making everyone think I was a tree. Not hiding in or near a tree. I was the tree. Seriously.
Another time Derek walked right past me because I had managed to successfully camouflage myself to the point that I blended in with the quilt on our bed. And I don't mean I bunched up the blankets at the foot of the bed and hit under those (a H&S rookie move if ever there was one), I mean I laid spread eagle, flat on top of the bed. That's how good I am.
Does it seem like I'm a little too proud of my H&S prowess?
Well, if I am, it comes only from sucking at every single other competitive activity in existence. So I'll ask you not to begrudge me this one thing, please.
Oh, and I should note that if you're one of those freaks that believes H&S also involves running and getting to a "base" before the person who's "it," you're sorely mistaken. That's some kind of tag-infested, bastardized version of Hide and Seek. And I'm not just saying that because I always lose that kind. (Except I probably am.)
So, yeah. I'm really good at Hide and Seek.
Or I was.
Because those recent nights where our family stayed in and played H&S? I did not do well.
The problem is all mental. (So many, many of my problems are.) You see, successful hiding depends on
1) Absolute stillness.
2) Absolute silence.
3) Being brazen in your hiding spots. Don't go for the obvious, like stuffing yourself in the clothes dryer or cowering under the table. Be a tree. Be a quilt. Be brazen.
Number three, I can still do. But numbers one and two? I seem to have lost those abilities over the summer. I had decent hiding places a couple times the other night, but completely sabotaged myself by giggling madly when I heard Derek approaching, or letting my body become suddenly overcome by random spasms in my limbs.
And breathing? Forget about it. I have suddenly become the heaviest breather ever. I'm trying to be completely still, but my chest rising and falling by at least a foot (okay, maybe not quite a foot) and my bordering-on-obscene mouth-breathing gives me away.
I had one thing. One thing I was good at. And God has snatched it away from me.
I'm hereby changing my name to Job.