Thursday night I turned off the computer and started screening phone calls. It was time to unplug...unwind...and really connect.
On Friday, Rob joined us for Fun Day at diving lessons. The last day of each session is a show off day where children show their parents all they've learned, and parents take a kazillion pictures. (Yes, we took our share.) When the skills have been demonstrated, the slides, diving boards, and splash zones are opened up for simple fun. It's a good day.
After that, we headed out to McCalister's for lunch and talk time. We talked about the various dives, the differences with all four divers, and goals for next session.
With tummies full, we headed back home where Robert took a bath and Rob finished up some work. Anna and I headed out to grab a back for my trip this week and some clip-on earrings for girls who don't like the idea of pierced ears. We ended up wandering several miles out of the way to a new shopping center with a luggage place and accessory store. Then we threw in several unplanned stops to check out books, clothes, and jewelry. I ended up with one book to take on the plane with me. Otherwise, we didn't get anything--except incredible time together that was spent sharing hearts, getting to know each other (important to do as ages change), and creating bonds.
That evening Rob and I made a quick trip to a computer store to pick up a laptop back, and we ended up getting a laptop, padfolio, and business card holder. We also got time to be still, talk about the coming week, where we feel life is going right now, how we want to handle some business opportunities, and how we can keep our family close in a world that can so easily keep us going in a dozen different directions.
That night, Rob and I played Rummikube while the children camped out in the sunroom. When it was lights out time, all was peaceful. And it felt good.
Yesterday (Saturday) came with a slow start to the day, a quick trip to pick up milk, and a hearty breakfast. Then came puppet time.
The children made puppets while Rob and I painted birdhouses. We talked, worked through puppet problems, laughed, and discussed the children's entrepenural ideas. Rob isn't one for arts and crafts. He isn't comofortable with mess or mayhem, and when the paint, rubber bands, styrofoam balls, scissors, and hot glue gun all come out at once, mess and mayhem are certain to ensue. Despite his aversion to chaos--even the controlled kind--he perservered because he loves his family, and for those priceless few hours, we were joined around a table of creativity that opened all possible worlds, all possible stories, all the safety and security of being loved and accepted that a family can offer. And people say utopia does not exist. Silly people.
Leaving the paint to dry, we headed to the kitchen where games and pizza made up another island, and no one gets kicked off. Instead, we all huddle together--cheering when things go well, encouraging when they don't, understanding that "just a game" can still be discouraging when being in last place is a consistent place to sit...
And then finding other games where winners and losers are shuffled, and the joy of first after being last too often brings smiles to one player and elicits shouts of triumpant as the others rejoice in the sweet victory, too, knowing it is sometimes more than a game. Sometimes it is the offering of hope that other "games" are not too big to win either.
When the fun winds down and we prepare for the night's events, laughter still echos off the walls. Shouts of remembered snippets of day's activities boom down the hall, and laughter erupts again. Responses bounce back as an echo...joy, security, love being heard again and again.
My mind thinks of two choirs rejoicing as the wall of Jerusalem is dedicated. One shouts praise. The other responds. Waves of worship washing over the people, crashing into each other, come back with power, washing away the "stuff", refreshing, calling to heaven, reaching a throne, moving the heart of a King.
Rejoicing with such exuberance that the sound of worship could be heard far away...into the relationship around them...into the daily decisions they made...into the destined descendants to come...
Amazing how much eternal sound can come from choosing to unplug and purposefully connect.