On Saturday we woke to the most spectacular sight. It wasn't the promise of a warm autumn day, although that was part of it. It wasn't the fall colors that were just beginning to burst, although those were beautiful.
It was a blank calendar.
Nothing, absolutely nothing was on our agenda for Saturday. And so, with the promise of a warm autumn day and the prospect of seeing some gorgeous color, B and I decided that we would have a "family day." Even the dog was going to come.
We thought it would be great to put everyone in the car and drive about an hour away to the farm where I was raised. We'd let Thunder off the leash for a while and let her run through the cornfields. We'd spend some quality time together as a family and everything would be beautiful.
Until we broke the news to the girls. They had other ideas for their free day. Plans that did not include being outside, getting dirty, or taking part in any excercise. Plans that DID include florescent lighting, air conditioning, and spending lots of money.
What to do?
Being the good parents that we are, we loaded up our disappointed girls and our car-sick dog (oh my, that's another story for another blog) and headed out to the farm.
At first we heard some whining, but that quickly settled as we threatened to leave the whiner home. Since nobody in our family ever wants to miss out on an outing, everyone came. And so did their books, their iPods, and their Nintendo DSs, but that's o.k. It made the car ride, which turned out to be much longer that we had thought because of the lovely Chicago traffic, just a little more bearable.
The day turned out to be lovely. And our walk was perfect. And when we got home, nobody said they would have rather spent the day at the mall.
Even though it takes some coaxing to get teenagers to participate in family activities, and even though it seems like a hassle sometimes to load everything up and drive for a while just to spend a couple of hours outside, it really is worth it.
I think we'll remember our free Saturday for quite a while.