I recently read the chapter on schedules from Kim John Payne‘s Simplicity Parenting. The idea of having an ordinary day resonated with me since our Sundays tend to be quite ordinary. Until reading this chapter from Payne’s book, I was hung up on how boring our Sundays seemed.
Wake up. Eat breakfast together. Play. Exercise. Complete the shopping list. Go grocery shopping. Eat lunch. Work during Isabelle’s nap time. Play with her upon waking. Prepare and eat dinner. More family play time. Put her to bed. Do whatever else we need to do before going to bed at 10:00 p.m.
My Sundays as a child were much more exciting. They’d usually consist of a trip into New York City. In fact, an odd weekend was when we didn’t go into the City. But now “THE CITY” is three hours away from our home and heading there each weekend is not my reality.
Payne asserts that every day doesn’t need to be highly scheduled to be a great day. There is something beautiful about a run-of-the-mill day that is predictable and simple. Children learn to appreciate the simplicity of ordinary days, which is important since their happiness doesn’t hinge on over-the-top fun.
This morning, I made 10-grain chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Then, I went upstairs to exercise while Marc played with Isabelle. After my shower, as I put on a simple cotton dress, I started thinking about my upcoming trip to the grocery store. There’s beauty in going food shopping every Sunday. First, we’re fortunate enough to be able to afford food. Second, we’re fortunate to live in a place where we have a wonderful selection of locally grown produce and other goodies. Third, we’re fortunate to have the kind of kid who is willing to sit in the shopping cart. After all, there is a lot to be learned through observation at the grocery store.
So off Isabelle and I went to the grocery store. (My husband stayed home to prepare an upcoming presentation.) She oohed and aahed as she watched the train go around on its track in the store. She delighted in the empty paper cup I got her when I bought my coffee. (She insists on an empty cup so she can pretend to drink coffee whenever I drink coffee.) She impressed the folks in the cheese department with her willingness to sample and enjoy sharp cheeses. She delighted in the orange balloon I got her. Just another Sunday at the grocery store.
Once we finished, I loaded the groceries, the balloon, and Isabelle into the car. “Did you have fun?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said smiling.
Ah, the joy of a simple trip to the grocery store. Nothing wrong with an ordinary Sunday. Nothing at all.