When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Perfect Day

We were on the road as the sun was coming up yesterday morning, en route to Collingwood for a dance competition for Will. The drive along back country roads was especially peaceful and pretty at that time of the morning (if you ignored the sound of the moaning, shrieking children in the backseat of the car, who were repulsed by the pungent odour of manure that filled the air when I rolled down the window to snap a photo).

"Mom, CLOSE the WINDOW!!!  You're KILLING us!!!" 

We had decided to make it a family day, allowing Noah to miss a day of school as well as Will, so we could all cheer for our dancer in the morning and then spend the afternoon enjoying the beautiful Blue Mountain area together. The weather smiled favourably on our plans -- it was amazingly warm and sunny all day long -- and we had one of those days that we all felt was absolutely perfect.

We packed breakfast for the car so that we wouldn't have to start our early day by nagging the boys to hurry up and eat before we left, which made everyone more relaxed first thing in the morning. The dance competition was fun to watch; Will and his hip hop teammates lit up the stage with their bright smiles and energy and closed their competition season with a great performance. 

It's always a treat to watch these boys doing what makes them so happy. 

While we were waiting for the adjudication to start, Matt and Noah and I headed outside with some of the other dance families to soak up the warm sun, and Noah decided to run all the way up to the top of the muddy ski hill. He just couldn't pass up such an inviting opportunity for cross-country training! When he made it to the top, legs burning, he felt quite a sense of accomplishment (Matt and I couldn't believe how quickly he made it up there!), and he was rewarded for his efforts with some gorgeous natural views from a new vantage point.

Noah = the tiny, running speck at the top of the hill

Once Will was finished at the competition, we went exploring at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, where there were, as you might guess, scenic caves, and a marvel-worthy suspension bridge with an inspiring view of Georgian Bay. Will had initially complained about these plans when we made them earlier in the week, thinking that we were going to go for a walk (boring, in his opinion) and look inside a cave (big deal, he thought), but he was very pleasantly surprised by how cool the whole experience was. The suspension bridge swayed teasingly as we walked across it and made our knees feel like jelly at its highest point.

The caves were a fascinating labyrinth of rocks to climb, crevices to peer into, and passageways to crawl through. There was still ice and snow at the bottom of some of the caves, so it was refreshing to feel the very noticeable dropping temperatures as we descended into the rocky shelters and then be warmed again as we made our way back up into the sunlight.

The hike through the beautiful natural area at the end of the afternoon left us all both invigorated and pleasantly worn out, which made the drive back home a peaceful, thoughtful one. When we arrived in our home town, it was already dinner time, so we stopped at one of our favourite local restaurants to eat, where we first happily bumped into and chatted with a family friend we hadn't seen in awhile, and then realized David Chilton from Dragons' Den was sitting only a few tables away from us. Matt recognized him just as Mr. Chilton was getting up to leave, and when he quietly pointed him out to the rest of us, Will got so excited he tried to chase him out of the restaurant so he could introduce himself! (We stopped him from doing that, and now I'm feeling that maybe we shouldn't have, because I think Will, with all of his enthusiasm and big ideas, might have made something of an impression on David Chilton....)

The four of us all agreed that our day, filled with good company, lively conversations, fun activities and cheerful coincidences, was a truly wonderful one. The boys wished they could take Friday off school, too, and I have to admit that I kind of wished I could have let them so we could do it all again. The day that we swapped busy highways for rolling country roads, and work and school schedules for free time together, gave us great memories and a renewed appreciation for all that is good about the world and each other. We all realized, though, as the boys headed back to school this morning, that it was the novelty of our experience, a one-off on what should have been a regular Thursday, that made it so special. We'll have to remember how important and rejuvenating those one-of-a kind days are in the midst of a busy time of our life, and make sure we take advantage of good opportunities to enjoy them.


  1. I love playing hooky. Sounds like you had a perfect day, indeed xo

    1. Yes, there are so many wonderful learning experiences to be had out in the world -- sometimes playing hooky seems the absolute right thing to do. :)