I learned years ago that having a script does not work when visiting with family. I can plan this and plan that, but all I will do is stress myself out. Worse yet, I could end up causing hard feelings because I’m unhappy that things didn’t go the way I thought they should.
My sister and I learned this years ago when the children were small. We made our plans loosely, knowing that anything could derail them from a lack of sleep to someone’s upset tummy to bad weather. We didn’t usually announce the script to the children until shortly before we were ready leave. That way, plans could be changed without tears.
This lesson was reinforced when I took precious vacation days off work to spend time with my daughter when she was little. I’d take her to the museums, the parks, and to visit family. I learned to go without expectation of what would happen on that day.
We’d go to the museum and she’d play with the sand instead of playing with the dinosaurs. When we went to the park, she didn’t play on the swings or the slide, but went swishing through the leaves for hours. We had leaves at home, but not such nice swings or slide. I either enjoyed her whatever she was doing or I could make it a miserable time by insisting that she do what I thought she should do. After a round of tears on both our part, I let go of my pre-conceived script.
And so the pattern repeats as I visit her here in Atlanta. We’re both working, which limits our time and energy. She took yesterday off work (as did I), but by the time we slept late, did some chores, and ate breakfast it was getting towards afternoon. Instead of going into downtown, I opted for going to the mall. Neither she or I shop much, so it is in fact a treat to go there together.
We had a great time! We looked at jewelry, she got some clothes, I bought some tea after doing some tasting. The yummiest was getting a truffle each when we went past Godiva.
It’s been a good visit. We’ve had plenty of time to chat, play Scrabble, and take care of her house. I’m glad I didn’t make plans to do other things.
Here’s a picture of my one-year-old child, when I let her play with the marigolds instead of doing something else I would have found more fun.
Word for tomorrow – BROWSE. If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.
I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.