NOTE: Park photos published in two posts, since Blogger was acting up on me.
Do you have a favorite day of the week? Is it Saturday? Mine is certainly not the weekend. Husband works seventeen hours over the weekend, with some flexibility mind you, but it makes for a solo-parenting weekend marathon, with the studying thrown in there too.
I used to dread Thursdays quite a bit. Keeping the children quiet so Daddy could slept late after graveyard shift, has never been a welcome task. But since we started going to the State Park near us on Thursdays, dread has quickly become delight!
Toddlers, for one thing, can't get into much trouble at the park. My toddler singlehandedly keeps me running on empty most days, with little time to get nourishment even. She only sleeps one hour during the day, necessitating an incredibly early bedtime--6 p.m. Makes for a rushed evening, to say the least. Instead of napping much, she sleeps longer at night than most of the napping-age set (although with short wake-ups still). The twelve hours of night sleep mean that during the day, her body will only do one more hour, making her total sleep thirteen hours, which is normal.
These days I am physically exhausted by the time their staggered bedtimes come and go, spanning from 6:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.. Solo parenting will do that to you! I actually need more sleep now, as a result. I'm aware that my situation is not atypical and whatever my challenges, I'm blessed by these kids. Make no mistake about that!
So anyway, enough reflecting about how hard parenting can get in certain seasons.
Back to a topic of pleasure. The park. It's a time of worship, a time of laughter, a time of wonder, a time of enjoying each other fully. There is no discipline, no chores, no endless pile of dishes, no laundry, no spills, no toys, no meal prep, and no worrying about whether someone forgot to latch the yard gate, or the front door, or close the hallway doors. There is no wondering how I'm going to cook with my toddler constantly getting into things, or how I'm going to keep up with the laundry when she keeps slamming the dryer door while I'm trying to process dry clothes. She is every bit a blessing I can't bare to see grow up, and a Dennis-the-Menace who drives us all a bit batty. All my other toddlers were good nappers, making this stage much easier!
A picture of what is to come, amidst a sea of green.
My children cannot get enough caterpillar metamorphosis! I don't blame them really. What compares to this lovely gift from God?
This year, thanks to my nature-loving son, I've learned all about tent caterpillars. They do this to trees. We have them housed in a plastic container, to which they've done the same thing. My son is still captivated. Mommy and Daddy are not. But, whatever.
Beautiful, and a time I really need to know where that macro-shot button is on the camera. I keep forgetting to ask husband.
Sky art, by God.
These plants were teaming with butterflies. See the one in the center?
My favorite flower color. More of God's art. The park is full of His work. Every turn, every angle is a time of worship. It surrounds us and we thirstily drink it in....take pictures, and then drink it in at home all over again. Can't concentrate on your Bible or on prayer? Go to a nature park, get into His presence, and then open your Bible and your heart.
It was getting too close to noon by this time. Not a good time for picture taking. The light is best in the morning and in the late afternoon. Makes all the difference.
I love all the hues of green. Something California never had to offer, even in the spring.
The drive home.