Mothers Speak: The Daily Commute

Kids are funny, aren’t they? They become creatures of habit so early in life and they fixate on certain things, repeating them over and over and over again like little OCD cases. Tonight Salem was playing with the letter magnets on the fridge and all I kept hearing was “F says ‘fff’…. F says ‘fff’…. F-F-F-F-F-F-F”… I finally yelled…… “Stop with the effing!!!!!” I rather enjoy some of my pre-schooler’s habits. In fact, we’ve turned our morning commute to Independence park into somewhat of a routine. I kid you not, the whole thing takes an hour and a half at least. Here’s why…

Besides the fact that little legs don’t walk very fast, we like to sing while we stroll. Bible songs, ABCs, the days of the week set to the Adam’s Family theme song, “There’s Sunday and there’s Monday, there’s Tuesday and there’s Wednesday, there’s Thursday and there’s Friday, and last there’s Saturday. The days of the week {snap snap}”…. and so on. You get the idea. But Salem has made a few discoveries on our morning commute that he must pay tribute to every {and I do mean every} time. For instance…

We live in the city, so we’re hard up for signage that sends a more… er… positive message, but at any rate, this is how we’ve taken to identifying our letters.

What is it with boys and mud? If there’s a mud puddle in a 10 mile radius of the house, he will find it. I think its too cute, so I don’t ever hold him back. Needless to say, we go through a lot of socks.

I like to take advantage of the opportunities to cross the street because it means we get to hold hands. Or as Salem says it, “hole hanes”. Sometimes he doesn’t realize it until we’re half way down the next block that we’re still hand in hand. I love every minute of it.

We have to pick a rock to throw every time we pass this gravel path. Every. Single. Time. I imagine Mia is thinking, “Mommy, why are boys so weird?”

We swing.

We blow bubbles

More letters…

And about an hour and a half later we come home and officially “start” our day.

If you’re still reading and I haven’t completely bored you to death you might be wondering why am I telling you all of this or perhaps you’re half expecting me to post a pic of my dryer lint collection next {Snooze! Get to the point!} The point is this: My absolute favorite moments with my kids aren’t those that are necessarily planned, scheduled, or educational. They are the ones that are filled with play, spontaneity, and sometimes just plain nonsense. Tonight I sat on the porch swing with the kids while we watched the rain and sang Christmas songs… in July. Yes, I could have started dinner, folded laundry, made a few calls, or… you name it. Chronic overachievers of the world can attest, there’s always something to be done. I love schedules as much as the next person. Ok, perhaps a bit more than the next person, but I realize that my son isn’t always going to want to “hole hanes” or bang on the “F’ magnet 500 times, so my time to indulge in a little unstructured fun with him is now!

Even as I type this, Salem is dressed in his park clothes and we’re headed out the door to make the neighborhood rounds… gloriously predictable…un-“productive”… un-“busy”, and yet somehow it is the greatest thing I have to show for in a day.

What are some of your most favorite unplanned moments with your kids? If you don’t have any children, what seemingly pointless rituals have made for some of your most favorite childhood memories?

I hope you enjoy a happy {and unplanned} weekend!



  1. Dee Nash said,

    July 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Awww! Salina you made me remember my sweet, glorious, adventerous , laugh filled days when you and Alicia were little. I will hold those memories in my heart forever. I am so glad you are treasuring these moments as I still do….when I remember. Love you!

  2. pat o'toole said,

    July 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I agree with you Dee. Where did the time go?!

  3. Donna Davis said,

    July 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Some of my favorite memories are the summer days I spent with my two. We’d pick up the house; walk to the community pool and swim for a couple of hours; walk home and make lunch (tuna fish, fried Spam, and grilled cheese sandwiches were our favorites); we’d watch Andy Griffith and The Beverly Hillbillies; and then quiet time. Sounds predictable, but we never knew what we’d see on the way to and from the pool (a softshell turtle one time); we never knew whom we would meet at the pool. Once a week, we’d skip the pool and go to the library instead. We usually ate lunch out and then came home with a load of new books to read for the week. I started this routine when Michael was little and we kept it going as Elisabeth joined us. It’s been years since those days, and I still miss them. MKD and EED remember those summer days. I know your children will remember the routines and adventures you’re giving them!

  4. theblossoms said,

    July 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Donna’s comment just made me cry. Oh sweet days. You are fleeting and I am forgetful.

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