Sometimes the best things in life aren't "things". Sometimes they are your family! Making beautiful memories does not have to cost a penny, it instead costs time. Can you afford the time? How can you not?
The night before last my parents brought over invitations for each of the kids. Each envelope had a different name on the outside, each card was their favourite colour. They were invited to Nana and Papa's for a fire and barbecue. We LOVE fires (no we are not pyromaniacs, we just enjoy a recreational fire). The physical work involved in making each kid a personalized invitation was minimal, but the outcome was maximum. The kids were very excited!
Last night we arrived at my Mom and Dad's. We are most fortunate to live near my parents. I say fortunate, but very little in my life is by accident. We choose. We chose to live here, near my parents, in the little village that I grew up in. We have chosen all of things that we love about our life.
My parents set up their kitchen tents and stacked up fire wood. While the dinner was on the barbecue, the kids played a game of bocce ball, actually they played multiple games of bocce ball, we all did. The air was full of squeals of laugher, and cheering.
The kids all worked up an appetite playing bocce ball and badminton. Dad manned the little camp barbecue, and Mom had worked for the afternoon making salads. The kids all piled their plates with the food (food that tasted all the better because I did not have to make it). We scattered around the yard, most of the kids ended up in the "eating" kitchen tent. Did you ever notice that food tastes all the better when you eat it outside? I'm not sure if it's the fresh air, or just the enjoyment of being outdoors, but food always tastes so much better outside.
This summer my parents created the neatest fire pit. They dug a big hole in the ground and then surrounded it with flat rocks. My parents own three acres of land, and so there is lots of space to sit around the fire. We have really been enjoying the fire invitations from Mom and Dad. They lost a lot of trees in the ice storm back at the end of the winter, and those trees were now being put to use.
The weather is beginning to cool, and the nights are getting longer, and getting down right nippy. We all put on big sweaters and enjoyed the warmth of the fire all the more because of the chill. We sat around the fire on lawn chairs, just enjoying watching the fire and the company. It was one of those slices of life that the world just seems right. I sat there looking around at the people that I love most in the world. We laughed and talked and ate, and ate (a few of the kids left with marshmallow beards). It was a beautiful night.
All too often life seems to get away from us. We find ourselves in that chaotic dance we call life. It seems so important to get the dishes cleared right away, that email that needs to be read pronto (that blog that should have been written and posted yesterday). We are so busy in that dance of chaos that we forget to live. We forget why we are performing that silly dance in the first place. For me, my life is devoted to my children. Sometimes I forget this for a few moments, but nights like last night remind me. We chose to have these children, they did not choose to be born. We have a sacred responsibility to do the best by them that we are capable of. Last night we all made memories. I would like to think that my kids will as adults discuss the night that Nana and Papa gave them each invitations and they had sooooo much fun! Thank you Mom and Dad for making beautiful memories for my kids, and for Christopher and I.