Sometimes a perfect day just sneaks up on you when you least expect it. In fact, I've found that's almost always the way it happens. When you painstakingly plan, expect and hope, it's hard for the outcome to live up to your expectations. But sometimes, in the midst of all the general humdrum of daily life, the anxiety, the to-do lists, the kids whinging and bickering, the tiredness - a perfect moment or two might come your way. And if you're really lucky, it might stretch out into a day.
This happened to me last Wednesday. I wasn't feeling particularly anxious, so it wasn't like some great gift from the universe just when I needed it. Often, just when I think I need some peace is when I get more of a shitfight. This was just out of the blue, for no reason at all, a wonderful day, and for the simplest of reasons.
It was a rare day when I had nothing planned - no activities scheduled, no play-dates organised, no errands, grocery shopping, not even any urgent housework to do (for me, urgent =dishes piled up in sink and/or no clean clothes left). As luck would have it, it was a clear, sunny day.
At first it felt kind of weird to be free of the comfort of something 'to do'. Then I had a flash of nervous responsibility to make the most of it, to not waste this day- I felt I should plan something special (I'm a planner). Then I just got the hell over it, and jumped on my bike, with Miss 2 (Maya) in the trailer, and went for a cruise around the neighbourhood to see what we could see. It was at this point, that with my luck, my story would usually digress to being about how we rode over dog poo, had no wipes handy, Maya started crying, and we got a flat tyre far from home (I'm also an optimist). But not this time. As I relaxed into the rhythm of the bike, I heard Maya singing sweetly to herself behind me. A cuter sound there never was. Eventually we came to a park, where we stopped for a play. We swung on the swings, slid down the slippery dip, and played on the see-saw, before cycling home again.
Once home, we put on some music and ate lunch together, had a dance around the living room then headed out again for an impromptu visit to my husband at a cafe near his work. I had an iced coffee and Maya enjoyed her favourite vanilla milkshake (Daddy had a flat white). It was a real treat for my girl to be in a grown-up cafe with her mum and dad, not having to share us with her older brother.
Did I mention she had been wearing her purple tutu all day?
After our cafe date with Dad, we had a little bit of time to kill before picking Alex up from pre-school, so we took a drive around by the beach to check out the views. I thought she might have a snooze in the car, but as soon as she saw the crystal clear waters she shrieked "I want to go for a swim!" It was 26 degrees and calm so I thought, 'why not?' and two minutes later we were paddling around in the ocean (she went the full monty; I rolled my jeans up to my knees). Days like this I was glad I kept a spare towel in the back of the car (you never know when you're going to need one). Half an hour later and it was time to go. No tantrums, crying, cajoling - she just took my hand and chatted happily as she climbed back into the car.
A magically unplanned perfect day. I know since she's only two she won't remember it consciously, but I will, and I know she'll carry it in her heart anyway.