“Can we have a picnic lunch outside in the yard Mommy? I’ll get the picnic blanket and help you bring out the food.”
These words were a dream come true for me! As a baby, Michael did not like spending time in our yard. I don’t know if he was bored as there were no other children around to play with, or nature overwhelmed him at that time, but he would always opt for being inside rather than out, unless we were going to a park or friend’s house. In the last few years though, and with the addition of a sandbox with toys and two toy slides, the yard has become more interesting. He also has taken great delight, particularly during the last two summers, in family picnics or eating BBQ’s al fresco in the yard. Yesterday’s impromptu dining literally was on a picnic blanket with paper plates, as our patio table still needs to be cleaned and we need to get a new umbrella for the table. It broke last summer. I also enjoyed eating Sunday night’s leftovers as I didn’t have to cook and much to clean up afterwards, but I digress. 🙂
What I enjoyed most of all about our outdoor lunch, was that Michael wants to be outside in the yard with us now, dining, playing. Prior to last year, he even liked to go in his baby pool with his toys and splash around. Now it is more about playing hide and seek, soccer, and general running around. Sometimes after I pick him up from daycare he asks to go outside in the back to unwind and I happily agree. Michael has begun to see the benefits of fresh air, quality family time, and playing simple games in the comfort of his own home. It has helped me remember how it’s the simple things and times you spend with family that matter the most in building quality relationships.
What family summer traditions are you looking forward to taking up again, Moms? What helps your children bond with you and other family members? I would love to hear from you about them! And remember, it’s never too late to start family traditions if you haven’t been able to up until now. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, as they say. Time is something you never get back. Spend it doing the things you love with the people you love. Until next time.