This weekend certainly did not go as planned. I had it all mapped out…Saturday was supposed to be unseasonably warm (60 degrees in January in Indiana? Yes, please!), so we were going to take down all of the outdoor Christmas lights and decorations and get them boxed up – and box up the remainder of the indoor decorations as well, and finally get the 40 or so storage tubs back up to the attic for another 10-month-hibernation. I exaggerate. It’s not really 40… it’s only about 25 or so. Definitely no more than 30. Anyway – then we were going to do a thorough cleaning indoors to get the house back into shape so we could let go of the holiday chaos and get back to our normal chaos. Then, Sunday we’d go to church, take the 3 youngest to get hair cuts and then head home and maybe, just maybe I would do some baking. After all, I have recipes to test and a menu to figure out.
But fortunately, it was not to be. Why fortunately? Because what happened was so much better…unplanned, spontaneous and perfectly fun. Friday afternoon I received an innocuous (Ok, I could have used the word ‘ordinary’ or something like that, but innocuous is such a fun word. I like words…) e-mail at work from our HR department, with a free pass to Sam’s Club for Saturday. We had been thinking about renewing our membership anyway, and this included a free gift-card with new or renewed membership. Free money? I’m in! Granted, our Sam’s Club is about an hour’s drive for us – but heck, a couple hours out of our day wouldn’t set things back that much, right? Plus, I needed laundry detergent and softener – win/win! Normally a trip to Sam’s Club (or any store really) with our children is not something we necessarily look forward to. It’s not typically one of those fun family outings for us – usually it’s more of a “Please stop touching things.”, “Didn’t I tell you to stop touching?!”, “Put your hands in your pockets and if I see them again I will CHOP THEM OFF!!!” kind of a thing. Not that I would ever actually chop their hands off…that’s gross. But I definitely would threaten it. And of course it wouldn’t work.
At any rate – this was not one of those trips. This was one of those rare times where the kids were getting along, they weren’t touching every stinking item in the store, everyone was in a pretty good mood – I don’t know if it was the weather or the phase of the moon or what – but we were having fun. At Sam’s Club. So because we were having fun, we weren’t rushing through the store…and it took longer than we planned. Then we decided while heading home, since we were driving right by the kids’ hair salon and everyone was in good spirits, we might as well go ahead and get that done. Then we stopped at the video store…and…well the rest of the weekend is history. Movies were watched, wrestling matches were won and laughter was…laughed? And the Christmas decorations? Well, I guess we’ll be taking those down in the cold snow that is on the forecast now. But that’s ok…because some things are more important than work, chores or plans…and hopefully that thought will keep me warm while we’re untangling lights from the thorny bushes. I’ll leave you with a poem that my mom had on a heart-shaped plaque when I was young, which hung in our baby’s room as well. Even if you don’t have babies anymore, it definitely still applies.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait ‘til tomorrow,
For children grow up, I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.
-Ruth Hulbert Hamilton