I am not a Pinterest mom. Almost nothing I do is ever worthy of posting on the internet. I consider my job as a mother to consist of: 1. keeping my children alive 2. Teaching them to be moral, independent people who can hack it in the real world. Entertaining is not anywhere on the list. I created five playmates for each of my children, and if those get boring, there's always the literal ton of books we haul around the world with us.
This philosophy has recently started operating on Saturdays too. Back in Tajikistan we used to go adventuring most Saturdays. The children and I spent all week cooped up in our house and by the weekend everyone except Brandon was ready to get out and do something exciting. Now that I have the independence of my very own car, we do a lot more leaving the house during the week. We have horseback riding, play dates, and appointments enough that most Saturdays - especially in the summer - everyone is happy to stay home.
In the summer, this means we swim on Saturdays (and just about every other day of the week too). But this past Saturday, our pool was empty. So swimming wasn't an option. There are several water parks around Tashkent, but I was taking the children to one on Monday, and two water park visits in three days seemed a little decadent. There are also several malls, and one of them just opened a Wendy's, so I thought about taking everyone there. But it always seems such a shame to waste a summer day indoors at a mall. I considered inviting ourselves over to a friend's house, but I wasn't sure if they were okay with that idea.
So I decided to stay home. Because home means you don't have to go anywhere in a hot car or see anyone else. And it's free.
While cooking breakfast that morning (after edging the lawns that Brandon was mowing because we are awesome [and it's cooler in the morning]), I had a rare bolt of fun-inspiration. I'm not sure where it came from, because usually complicated fun-having schemes aren't my thing. This is why I've never actually thrown a birthday party for anyone in my family. Games. They're terrible. But maybe maybe I can blame my bolt of inspiration on pregnancy hormones. They often make people do weird things.
I decided that we would play water games with the children. Everyone gets crabby if they stay inside all day, and it's too hot for the next three months to stay outside if you're not wet, so why not play games with water?? I brought up the idea with Brandon, and he thought it was a great idea and started researching immediately.
When we announced our plans to the children, some were skeptical and reluctant. But within thirty seconds of starting a sponge-relay game (with hurdles!), everyone was completely on board with water games. After all, the spirit of competition gets to about everyone in the end. After we ran out of planned games, we made up games on the spot. After those, everyone started playing with the hose (it never seems to get old). And then I told Kathleen to dunk her head in a bucket, which everyone found very entertaining. Edwin upped the ante by dumping the whole bucket of water on his head. Then someone got the brilliant idea of filming the dumping and ducking in slow motion. Somehow filming water is slow motion is endlessly fascinating.
We finally had to give it up only because our dinner delivery was on its way and everyone needed to bathe before gathering to eat sushi while watching The Black Stallion. Before going up for her bath, Sophia turned to me; "Mom, this day has been so much fun! Thanks for being such a great mom!"
I hope that when they're older and have gone off into their own lives separate from each other, they'll remember days like Saturday with fondness. And those days will last in their memory better than all the other days where I was only a so-so mom. One can always hope.