Last week, we had a torrential rainstorm – one of those storms that begins suddenly and dumps buckets of water from the sky. While I was running around the house closing windows and making sure the laundry was off the line my husband Dave stripped down to his underwear, called for the kids to do the same and they all ran around the backyard jumping in puddles and laughing their heads off.
Yesterday, our two boys were bored and picking fights with each other so Dave stopped what he was doing and took them on an impromptu “adventure” – biking around the neighbourhood and looking for cool things to do. When they returned, the boys excitedly reported they had nine adventures – from seeing newborn Canada Geese to peeing off a rock into the Ottawa River to having a hot dog from a vendor at the beach!
I am a list-maker, an organizer and a worrier . While Dave and the kids were jumping in puddles I was laying down towels to make sure the kitchen floor didn’t get all muddy when they came in. Before going on that bike ride I would have made sure I had packed a snack, the sunscreen and that the kids had all gone to the washroom before departing.
Parenting alongside Dave these last six years has really taught me the importance of fun. I so admire his ability to push aside the stresses of work and everyday life and just be in the moment with our children.
Dave has also taught me how important it is to really focus on play. I am rarely without my cell phone – my kids will actually bring it to me if I have left it too far out of reach. Dave, on the other hand, is able to really turn off and engage with the kids. They will have hour-long playtimes where Dave makes up awesome, creative scenarios and the kids just soak in the wonder. Dave has taught me the importance of unplugging and really being there in the moment with our kids.
I know myself well enough at this stage in my life that I realize I am not going to change my ways completely – I am who I am. I will always sleep better at night knowing the laundry is done, the lunches are made and the kids have all had at least three servings of fruit and vegetables that day. However, every once in a while, I hope I can let a little “Dave” wear off on me – and I will find myself in my underwear in the rain, at the park without my cell phone or playing knights and princesses without wondering when I can safely excuse myself to prepare dinner.