At the End of the Picnic
We were at an evening picnic on a school night. It was a happy reunion with long time family friends whom we’ve not seen for quite awhile. The weather was lovely, the canyon scenery was stunning, food was consumed, and the kids had run around for hours. Howard and I began to gather our things when one of our friends said
Most everyone else was still settled in for visiting.
“We’ve got to go. The kids have homework” I answered.
The friend waved a hand as if to wipe out the work to be done “Just let it go. they’re smart college-bound kids. It won’t hurt to let it slide for one day.”
I paused for a fraction of a second before answering, because I could see her point. Life should be arranged so that sometimes the work can bend around the fun. However I knew my kids and my family. We needed to get home. Also I had to process the implication that we were high-stress college-focused people. Yes my kids needed to focus on homework, but not because of years-off college. We needed to return to our regular routine because it was the best way to make sure the rest of the evening and the next day were good. Patch would quite happily ignore homework and play all night. But then he would turn into a quivering bundle of stress when he arrived at school with the work not done. All three kids needed to bathe. They also needed time to wind down lest bedtime be made out of arguments.
In that fraction-of-a-second pause I realized that I have high intensity kids who get wound up and anxious about things. My friend’s kids and grandkids are generally easy going. I also knew that if I sat down and explained all of this, she would understand because she is a smart and kind lady. She was just having fun with everyone gathered together and didn’t want it to be over quite yet. I agreed with her. The gathering was really fun, but my family needed to leave while fun was still being had, because the alternative was to leave because someone had a meltdown. I smiled and said “We really do need to get home, but we should do this again soon.”
Hugs were shared and we went home.
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