It's fifty-three degrees out and sunny, and Jack's already been outside off and on for about two hours. I sent Bonnie and Fred out a few minutes ago so I can make lunch and write this, obviously.
In addition to being the last day of the Play Day Week Challenge, today is also the fifth and final day of Kelly's week out of state for work, and will be the third afternoon in the first week of me working my new part-time, bring-kids-along, out-of-the-house job. This is my first paying job, other than in-house babysitting when Bonnie was little, that I've had in ten years, and it has both the upside of being able to bring my kids along, and the downside of being able to bring my kids along.
Bonnie is sick today with the kind of sickness that requires sleeping late and not doing school work, all while planning a sleepover for this evening, and both boys seem to be fighting off whatever little bug struck earlier in the week. They are fever-free, but basically don't feel great. That combined with being out of sorts with Daddy gone for the week (he does not usually travel for work) has left their little dispositions rather unpleasant. What I'm getting at is that it's been a really long week and I am thankful it's finally Friday.
While we do plenty of outside activities with the kids, it's more important to me personally that they have unsupervised free play out there as much as possible. It's a win-win scenario really, because not only do they get the chance to explore the world and their relationships with their siblings without my constant input and direction, but I get some critically necessary time to myself while they are outside. (Not to say this time is not punctuated by kids running in and out of the house with questions, complaints, and needs.) Soccer and treks into the woods are awesome and wonderful ways we spend time together as a family, but they don't replace my kids' need for free access to the outdoors.
This week has been a good reminder for me that that need doesn't disappear in "bad" weather. Almost without fail, when I send cranky kids outside, they come in refreshed, calmer, and happy. I hope to make an effort to continue the "outside, everyday" mentality this fall and winter.