Sunday, June 24, 2012

Girls' Weekend In

As Shawn and the boys prepared for their annual Father-Son Camping trip with our church, I couldn't help but think it was slightly unfair that there was no comparable girls' trip. The boys look forward to their next camping trip all year long and, as it gets closer and the preparation ramps up, excitement (and noise and lots and lots of gear) fills our house. Shawn has the Official Packing List attached to a clipboard and, as space in the mudroom and garage shrinks, the Official List is populated with black cross-outs. This is purely a boy affair. They handle all the planning, shopping, packing, and loading of the van. (Which means the three girls in their three car seats are squeezed into the tiny backseat of Shawn's little car.) The only thing the girls are responsible for is staying out of the boys' way. (And fielding the occasional "Is there any more bug spray?"-type questions.)

The night before departure, Shawn asked me what we were going to do all weekend. I hadn't thought of it. I had been so caught up in simultaneously A) trying to be helpful in any way I could in the preparation process and B) staying out of the way of the preparation process that I had not looked beyond when the three boys finally drove away and took all the chaos and noise with them.

I wondered what would we do? I had no activities planned for our 48 hours of "girls-only" time. The only thing we had scheduled was Eliza's one-year check-up (complete with shots and blood work, which was the one low moment of our weekend for all four girls involved!). Then a fellow friend who was also going to be "boy-less" for the weekend due to the camping trip asked if we wanted to get together one night for playtime and dinner. Sounded great! So we now had two things on the itinerary. But while the boys would be hiking, roasting s'mores, river tubing, watching outdoor movies, biking, and doing all kinds of fun things, I started to worry that the girls would feel slighted and left out being at home with mom with nothing planned.

Turns out there was nothing to worry about.

Clare had only finished school on Thursday. So come Friday, once the boys departed and Violet and Eliza went down for their naps, Clare was so happy to simply be at home. She played quietly with some toys, we did iSpy together on the computer, read stories, and created painted rocks (Clare turned hers into "Hot Lava Bird"). Then once naps were over, the girls all played in the pools. This was all they really wanted to do. Have the two kiddie pools ALL TO THEMSELVES. There was nobody squirting them in the face with Super Soakers, nobody running and jumping in causing tidal waves that empty the pool, nobody hogging all the space with boogie boards that are really too big for a kiddie pool. Clare and Violet played "rest time" in the pool and simply relaxed. (To be fair, the girls loaded the pool up with the boogie boards, too, but in a relaxing way. Or that's what they told me.)

Once Saturday dawned, the girls were eager to accompany me to the grocery store. We took our time and spent two hours going up and down the aisles. Back at home, we painted our toenails and fingernails ("Cinderella blue" and "Sleeping Beauty pink," I was informed), put on a puppet show, played princesses, played tea party, sang songs, and read more stories before naps and our evening with friends (which involved a lot of dress-up, lip gloss, and putting on a recital). I didn't need to have a million things on the schedule. The girls (and I) enjoyed our quiet weekend at home.

Now it is minutes before those rowdy boys will pull into the driveway. Although I loved our girl time, and it was definitely not as frenetic when it came to the energy levels and noise volume, I did miss them. It is a completely different dynamic in the house with the boys missing. It was lovely to have a break from the testosterone for a couple days but it will be even lovelier to have our family back together again.

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