Repackaging Spontaneity

I miss being spontaneous.  During my time in counseling after Ada was born, I learned it’s ok to grieve that loss.  We used to go where we wanted, when we wanted, as the idea popped into our naive little minds.

Then we had children.

As I prepared to write this post, I looked up the word “spontaneity” in the dictionary thinking I would be clever and include the definition.  Sadly, it included this example of the word in a sentence: The couple sacrificed some of the spontaneity in their lives when they had a baby.  Ouch.  Merriam and Webster know.  They must have kids.

Life used to be, “Let’s go to Chicago!  Ok!”  Then it became, Let’s go out for dinner.  Wait, how long will we be gone?  How many bottles will we need to bring?  And don’t forget an extra outfit.  And diapers and wipes.  We need to make sure we’re back before bedtime.  Did you pack the cereal?  And the bowl and spoon?  And the formula?  And the burp cloth?  Oh, but we can’t go until she wakes up from her nap.  And she’ll need to eat after that.  Ugh, now I’m exhausted.  Never mind.

Saturday morning a beautiful thing happened.  Chad said, “Let’s go get donuts.  In Shipshewana.”  Our kids are now 6, 8, and 9.  We quickly got ready to go and instructed them to get dressed and get in the car for a surprise.  Now it takes about an hour twenty to get there.  We didn’t tell the kids how long it would take.  We just enjoyed the ride and the rural scenery.  When we arrived, they were pleased with the surprise (obviously) and we enjoyed our time.  Then we decided to go to downtown Shipshewana.  On the way we drove by a cheese factory.  Wanna go?  Sure!  (These are the things we do now.)  We let the kids each pick out one snack.  In Shipshewana we walked around, watched a lady paint, and peaked in the little shops.

I had a realization at the cheese factory (sentences you don’t say everyday…).  This is our new spontaneity.  It comes in smaller doses, and within the confines of bedtime, but it’s getting easier all the time.  The kids can eat at a restaurant.  I don’t have to pack a diaper bag.  There are no naps to contend with.  Letting them pick music once in a while goes a long way to bring peace.  I have to find windows like this, opportunities to bring bits of the life I used to have into the life I have now and share them with my children.  I get to show them how to be spontaneous!  We had an awesome day of saying yes because there was nothing on our calendar.

It was such a precious day for me, and I’m sure for our kids.  I’m thankful to have a husband who also can be spontaneous and knows how to make that work with a family of five.  It is good.

2 thoughts on “Repackaging Spontaneity

  1. I love this post (probably, in part, because you talked about THE donuts!!!) I am NOT wishing away my current stage of mommyhood, but you give me hope that a new “season of spontaneous living” will come again. Our most recent spontaneous move came after Scott had experienced a very hard day at work, and we needed to talk and process. I said, “Let’s get ice cream…. at Ritters…. in Warsaw…. so our kids are strapped in carseats with music blaring in the back so that we can TALK. 😉

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