I had so many plans for the weekend, an organizational overhaul. There were lists involved, color-coded lists.
See, I’d had a good week and I thought if I could just keep the momentum going, I could start all over again on Monday—ready to hit the ground running.
Friday night I thought I would make it clear to the “mini-mes” that we all had chores to do, certain responsibilities to take care of, before any weekend fun began. I would make this clear to them. It was in the best interest of all involved. I would firmly tell them so, but first … I’d have to find them.
They’d gotten wind of my “big project” and scattered like roaches. It’s like they have radar—a sixth sense that lets them know when I’ve got cleaning on my mind. And who can blame them? The truth is … I don’t want to do it either. I’d much rather sit out on my porch all weekend, writing, sipping coffee and letting the time pass. Unfortunately, some things just have to get done. But I would soon find out … they wouldn’t get done this weekend.
Usually, I take their bad attitude as a parenting challenge, but instead of gearing up and inspiring them, I found myself slipping into their slug days.
And it felt so right.
Oh, the necessary things took place. Teeth got brushed, breakfast eaten and cats fed, but anything past that seemed like too much of an effort. The pizza delivery guy began calling us by our first names.
At one point, my son came shuffling down the stairs, took a long look at me lounging on the couch, feet up, wearing Christmas socks (the last of the clean laundry) and said, “So, I’m thinking this is it for today.”
“Looks like it,” I said, matter-of-factly.
“Good, I needed this,” he said, sinking into the cushions next to me.
The truth is we all needed it—just a couple days to enjoy the passage of time without putting any pressure on ourselves to do or be anything. And as I sat next to my kids, eating yet another slice of chicken and cheddar pizza with white sauce, we actually began to bond in a brand new way. We found a strong common denominator—imperfection.
And, if I’m being honest, I feel more ready to “hit the ground running” than I probably would have without a lazy weekend under my belt. After all, the laundry will eventually get done.
So, my days of cleaning may have been a dismal failure, but our slug days were a huge success.
Taryn Grimes-Herbert is a screenwriter, performer and the author of the I’ve Got character-building book series for children, and was 2010’s Woman of Achievement in the Arts Honoree for Orange County, NY. Calling upon her professional acting experience on Broadway, film and television, she speaks out and takes her books into classrooms hoping to help kids build character, develop empathy and learn to create a positive future through creative dramatics activities.