A sunny and warm(ish) Saturday in early Spring brightens the spirits of any Midwesterner. After months of gloom, frequent snow, and consistently freezing temperatures, northeast Ohio experienced the first beautiful, non-freezing Saturday in quite a long time.
The weather - and the outdoor opportunities it allowed for - lifted the spirits of every member of the household and seemed to dispel tensions that long winter periods can foster. The day was full of good things. A walk downtown to the farmer's market and library. Quiet time at home that allowed for reading in bed. An afternoon trip to the local outdoor gardens for the chance to ride tricycles though the many paths. At the moment, Martin is at a basketball game with his Dad. This is a peak moment as basketball games typically involve unlimited amounts of popcorn. A day full of good things.
The sun was not the only reason today was good. Unlike many Saturdays, this one was completely unscheduled. I had no papers to grade for Monday. We had no obligations. My husband and I could go in the directions the kids wanted to take us. Not without limit. When Martin asked for a second movie, the answer was no. But we had time for excursions, time to read together, time to color pictures. It was great. And unlike so many of his days, Martin had only one timeout.
I like to think I'm a multi-tasker. Liberal arts professors juggle lots of things in their typical day: emails, papers, lectures, student meetings, committee meetings. I often try to do too many things at once, but I'm usually successful. Home, however, is a much more difficult place to multitask. I love to cook. But if a child begs for snacks while I try to cook, I think I'll lose my mind. I don't mind changing diapers. But when a kid is yelling for more movies in another room, I want to knock myself out with the wet-wipe box.
I think our kids, whether they're on the spectrum or not, know when we're trying to do more than just take care of them. And there are times when this simply must occur. But days like today remind me how important it is to do one thing at a time in my house, at least as often as I can. We'll all be happier.
What good things can you reflect on this time of year?