Saturday, March 19, 2011

Time Out

Every once in a while, a change in routine is necessary. A “time out” from the regular, daily doldrums. Earlier this week, that opportunity presented itself when the sun splashed its rays over the cool concrete and the air warmed up to almost 60 degrees. Ava was itching to play outside after I picked her up from daycare, and I was itching to get some pictures of her playing with bubbles.

All did not go as planned because Ava couldn't figure out how to blow the bubbles, nor was she very happy about her dada doing it for her. 

So we settled onto the driveway, watching her swish the bubble wand back and forth, first in the bottle and then in the air. It produced the desired effect, and Ava squealed with delight as she figured out a way to make bubbles come out of the wand. 

The fresh, warm air draws people out of their homes as if we’ve all been invited to a neighborhood party. We simply cannot resist the sunshine, the shedding of winter coats in favor of light, spring jackets, bubbles and sidewalk chalk, and a chance to mingle with neighbors who have been hibernating since November. A new family moved in next door to us in December, and they have 3 year old twin girls, the perfect playmates for Ava! We were all outside at the same time that day, and as soon as Ava saw the twins, she announced, “I wanna see girls,” and moseyed on over there. 

More editing done to this photo because it was my 365 for the day.
Katie and Maddie were a bit shy at first, but soon warmed up and the three of them drew on the sidewalk with pastel chalk, took turns riding Big Wheels and dug through bins of old clothes and shoes, pulling out dancing shoes and tutus. 

I cannot wait for summer! I hope to grow close with these new neighbors. I can already see it: family trips to the neighborhood pool, casual cookouts in our backyards where the adults sip cool beverages and the girls chase lightning bugs, driveways filled with chalk drawings, and afternoons spent running through a cold sprinkler. And even though we stayed out that day until it was too late to make a good dinner, it was worth it. Ava scarfed down her nuked hot dog, mandarin oranges, crackers, cheese and yogurt while Jeremy and I settled for TV dinners. I gladly sacrificed a homemade meal for an evening spent playing outside with potential new friends!

Besides this break from routine on an otherwise ordinary Wednesday, another “time out,” a much longer one, is taking place in my life. I currently have a student teacher in my classroom, giving me a welcomed reprieve from teaching, and time to plan for next year. I spend my days mentoring, planning, making copies, running errands and sitting in front of the computer while Miss L takes over my classes. I know the next 7 weeks are going to fly by while she’s here!

Time out doesn’t have to be a bad thing. When a child receives a time out, it gives them a chance to learn from their mistakes, to correct their behaviors and know that their parents care enough to discipline them. I’m proposing a new connotation for this phrase! 

A time out is a good thing, especially when it means playing outside in warmer weather, trips to the park and an excuse to pull out brightly colored dresses and leggings.

I'm hoping for many more excuses to get out of the daily grind and do something extra special at least once a week...especially now that we've had some hints of spring weather.  I hope Ava is ready!