Last week we went on our first ever pajama ride. We got the idea from our favorite parenting book, and we've been waiting ever since Lucy was a baby to finally be able to do it. We figured now that Elaine's out of her crib, and they have a hard time going to sleep since it's so light out at bedtime, that this would be the perfect time.
I gave them their shower, did their whole nighttime routine, and tucked them, unsuspecting, into bed. We gave it about 20 minutes or so, and Darren went back upstairs. "Pajama ride!" he announced. They were so excited; they thought that meant Dad would let them get out of bed for a few minutes and ride on his back. Imagine their surprise when he carried them downstairs and out to the car.
Elaine didn't know what to think, and Lucy kept asking "Where are we going?"
We drove for awhile until we came to this:
We all got cherry-dip cones....
And drove home in the dusk with the windows down. "I'm so tired, I can't even smile anymore," Lucy said. (But of course they were still up before 6 a.m. the next day.)
I've been thinking a lot lately about mental burdens that I have to carry as an adult and as a parent. Financial worries: increasing property taxes yet wages that stay almost the same every year, having to change our insurance this year from one with full coverage to one with a deductible, increasing gas and grocery prices, increasing school tuition and daycare costs. Then there is just the huge pool of adult knowledge I have to have, yet which I need to keep my children free. My mom gave me one of the greatest pieces of advice when Lucy was born, "Your children are not equipped to handle your emotional difficulties." So, I keep them as innocent as is possible and wise for as long as I can. Then there is just the nitty-gritty of daily life: the constant clean-up, the discipline, the irritation in my voice...If you're not careful, life can become an endless chore, a gray landscape.
We have our faith to combat against these things. But, as our parenting book also says, "You can't be a perfect parent; at least try to be a fun one." So, we're officially instituting pajama rides as of this summer. We're going to see how creative we can get with cheap entertainment. I'll keep you posted!