So get out there and rock
And roll the bones
—Rush, Roll the Bones
I just wanted to stay home for the afternoon. To work in the yard and get dirty and sweaty. To zen with our little rectangle of backyard earth. I'd been hopping and bopping and traveling so much again, that I just longed for a Saturday at home with some rock and roll streaming from my iPhone. And then play some games with the family and barbecue hamburgers.
But even that was already partly a bust, since I'd agreed to a Saturday midday meeting to continue the planning of the Transforming Together event coming in October. Important to me, though, so all good.
So the Mama (what I lovingly call my wife) took the girls to the grocery store. However, earlier she found out about family fun day put on by the Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation. Fun games for kids and adults and then swimming and more!
Sigh. I love my wife so much, and yet she's infamous for lining up a multitude of things for all us to do, like planes waiting to take off at Chicago O'Hare during thunderstorms. How can we do all the things in one day! (Smiley face)
"You can stay home and work in the yard if you want," she said.
"C'mon, Dad," said the girls, like little wayward waifs longing for affection. "We're going to go swimming!"
That was in the morning, and at first I was going to pass; sometimes we do things separately, and that's okay. But I've found myself more and more wanting to be with my family when we can. I work enough as it is -- both the Mama and I do (and that includes "taking care of the kids" work) -- and the mindful presence of being with family, whether a Saturday afternoon swimming, eating meals together, or reading stories together at bedtime, all these moments fill our hearts full of joy and love (as long as no one is whining).
Plus, it may all change as the girls get older, there may be fewer moments of togetherness (or maybe there will be more or less the same; we can only hope), which is why I need to be present in every interaction with my family.
That's a tall order, especially when I want to do things like write these articles on Sunday mornings, while my family interacts around me. But that's okay. There are things that the Mama and I need to do without total family immersion, like work and home stuff that need to get done no matter what, and other important activities that fulfill our needs and our desired designs (writing, working out, reading, etc.).
And recently the Mama and I have been meditating together to the Oprah and Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience, Energy of Attraction. Make fun if you want, but damn we're really digging it. Super centering. The latest "centering thought" on day 7 is: My deepest desire is for completeness. The meditation mantra is: Ananda Hum - I am pure bliss.
That validated Saturday, where I acquiesced to going to family fun day event through the horrid Saturday afternoon traffic of going only a few miles. The benefits of living in a vacation town, I thought as we ground to a halt near the Beach Boardwalk. A car ahead of us pulled into the other lane and boogied to the stoplight to get past all the beach traffic. No one was in the oncoming lane, but it was still a bold move.
"Sweetie, do that so we can get past this," the Mama said.
"No way -- that's a big friggin' ticket if we get popped."
"C'mon Dad," said the girls, "Just do it. No one's coming."
Another five minutes went by and we hadn't moved.
"C'mon Dad! Do it!"
Talk about pure pressure. So I did it.
Kids, don't try this at home. When we got to the family fun day (safely), the day was glorious, blue sky and warm weather, and there was lots of fun games for the kids and swimming for us all -- and then big Yahtzee. Literally five big dice and dry erase scorecards to play the game.
So while the girls ran around and played their games (including running at each other in blow up bubble suits, something we did as well), we played the big Yahtzee. We rolled the colorful bones, we laughed and we got busy with the bliss.
And she beat me, but who's keeping score?