The real triumph of this blog post is that I actually spelled the word spontaneity without looking it up first.. I am more than mildly impressed with myself.. And yes, that is about what my life has come to right now and yes, it is sad.. But I digress..
This past July 4th (well July 3rd if you want to get technical) we packed up the bag and took the boys to the nearby lake for the fireworks. Right at the beach area they had a band playing, carnival games, food trucks, etc.. A very festive atmosphere. However we learned the hard way last year that being that close to the water meant the louder the fireworks. So we decided to stake out a piece of grass on fields across the street near the high school. This area was much less crowded, the boys could run around and get out all of their energy and it was far enough away from the fire works where it shouldn't be a problem. I remembered the chairs and the blanket and the food/drinks, but forgot the football. And the cards. And the stomp rockets. All the planning I had done thinking it was going to be a few hours that we were there until the fireworks started was all for naught. Crap, now what?
Spontaneity, that's what. Instead of playing cards or throwing around the football, we had the boys do wind sprints and burpees. Then, they went over to the blocking sled used by the town football team (I think) and tried to move it. That was classic. Clearly these two activities did not take up too much time so we went over to the beach area for some games and fun. But there was a lot of time left to kill.
Soon enough, more families started settling in. And before I knew it, the boys were off playing with kids they didn't know on a dirty, dusty baseball diamond. Within 5 minutes they had made up their own game and played it non stop for about an hour and a half. Not only did this entertain the boys for the majority of the time we had before the fireworks, but they had fun, got a lot of energy out as 6 year old boys often have and they met some new friends.
So, what I learned is that all the planning in the world sometimes can't make up for spontaneity. Sometimes you need to just let them explore, meet new kids and make friends, create their own games and have fun. It worked out better than I could have imagined.
Oh, and in case you were wondering the fireworks hadn't been going for more than 3 minutes before they were crying they were too loud so we left. Hey, at least we beat the traffic home.