No, I did not need a day off from my normal activities because I stayed up really late last night getting the writing blog up and running (it's here, if you haven't seen it yet). I had a lovely day off from my normal activities because my husband Thad took a vacation day today, a little bit of compensation for all the weekend hours he (like so many people) has had to work lately.
We spent the whole day--Thad, the girls, and I--together, running a handful of errands in the crazy Texas heat and enjoying each other's company tremendously. We needed this day, a day stolen away from our usual routines, a day just to relax and unwind and be--really, be--together.
Thad took us out for brunch at a terrific restaurant (part of a smallish chain) where he sometimes has lunch during a busy work week. The plate-sized pancakes were wonderful, as was all of the food (my special favorite were the home fries which were truly delicious). It was quiet and calm, though I hear that on weekend mornings they have quite a crowd. I can understand why!
After that, we did a little bit of everything and a whole lot of nothing--no urgent errands to deal with, no particular agenda, just a few fun stops and a chance to spend some time in places in our area where we don't usually go. I found myself treasuring it, because I know that days like this will come to an end before I'm ready for them to--days when we're all free to do this sort of everything and nothing, days without agendas and plans and "to-do" lists full of boxes to check, days when our whole family can just enjoy each other's company, when I can listen to my girls complimenting each other sincerely on their various talents and joining in conversations from the serious to the jovial with Mom and Dad, when we can simply enjoy being a family.
Because the girls are growing up, and soon (though not immediately, thank goodness) they will be heading out into the world, to work and go to college and pursue their dreams and find their vocations. And I want them to do all of those things, and I don't expect them to stop complimenting each other or joining conversations or enjoying family time--but I know that schedules will get much more complicated, and available free time will shrink even more than it already has, and that days like today will become even more precious than they already are, because they will become more rare.
And that's okay, really. Because today I had a day off--a day off from the realization that we're getting closer and closer to those joyful and yet bittersweet changes.