Because some of our children hadn’t yet learned to play flashlight stuffed animal hide-and-seek, or Tiger Tails, or staying-up-late-catching-fireflies. And that will never do!
Because when we go out of the house to have fun together, the house stays clean.
Because we are parents of ten children, and we aren’t very old yet. One of us isn’t even forty years old yet.
Because we only have a two month break between our academic years this summer. We typically school from August to April. Last year was the first exception, and we do not hope to repeat it!
Because we don’t want any dull Jacks about the place. Even if we didn’t name any of our children Jack.
Because we don’t know how many more years we have to be together with all our children before we start losing them off the top. We have this suspicion that we will look back on these years as the golden ones. And we don’t want to waste them by rushing ever onward to the next agenda item.
Because some of our little ones are so little, they don’t remember our favorite family activities, it has been that long.
Because I dropped a pumping, from five down to four pumpings a day [thirty to forty-five minutes per session=quiet reading and writing time]. Not long ago, I didn’t have more than one to two hours free at any given time; now I have four. Do you have any idea how much can be packed into four hours? And that four hours can occasionally be stretched.
Because if we have the freedom to be night-owls, we may as well do it together. [Yes, we are the neighborhood family who goes on flashlight walks after dark.]
Because we’ve deliberately kept our household function streamlined so that we have time for fun, now that we are not being all academic-like. For instance, our meal plan is still very simple. And we keep our possessions to a minimum, because unnecessary stuff is a time-stealer.
Because we don’t pull together so well as a team if we never get to the part where we frolic together.
Because we enjoy a break more when we have been diligent with our work.
Because we got so much done over the winter and spring that all we have left of our extra projects is some outside repair work and painting.
Because some work is fun, especially when it is shared!
Because out of the four months of break we had last summer, the only fun we had as a whole family was, well, was…ummm…I’m blanking out here…
Because I don’t want my children to remember me by the dishcloth that grows on the end of my arm.
Because we had to write down a description of our family for Katie’s country to read, and we got excited all over again about being us!
Because one of our favorite forms of fun is getting together with other people. We may be able to find a Bible verse for that. <grin>
Because who could say no to free tickets to a pro baseball game, enjoyed from a skybox suite? Our thanks to a generous uncle who was having a happy birthday.
Because when we were children, we didn’t feel pressured by deadlines or appointments or agendas all summer long. We think that what a child gains by growing up that way is valuable.
Because the fun we did have over the past year was necessarily squeezed into very miniature form, and we’re ready and able to breathe a little bigger.
Because the work you will always have with you. Work is a blessing, and yes, our children still have a healthy supply of it. But for us, time for fun as a family must be deliberately planned and caused, or it is quickly squeezed out by the Stupendous, Miraculously Ever-Expanding To-Do List.
Because family fun doesn’t have to cost much more than thought, time and effort.
Because we were feeling somewhat disconnected, and ready to just be. To stop, and be, together.
Because resting from dramatic adventures or long plodding stretches is just as much a gift from God as the dramatic adventures or long plodding stretches.
P.S. Yes, that is my wedding dress, being put to good use for the first time in over eighteen years. We made a discovery that day. Spearmint-strawberry sandwiches taste lovely! Buttered toast, homemade strawberry jam, freshly picked spearmint leaves.
P.P.S. How was that fun for the rest of the family? It wasn’t, nor would it ever have been. They were just out of sight of the camera, delighting in lots of cool water on a humid, ninety-five degree day. The delight involved the garden hose, squirt bottles, syringes from Verity’s NG tube days, old paintbrushes, and a rain barrel. And the girls joined them when they were finished being proper young ladies.