Playing Hooky

Sometimes life calls for a day of playing hooky. That’s not something we do around here much; I can’t even remember the last time we just spontaneously dropped everything, stole away and enjoyed a day of play. There are too many things to do and accomplish and responsibilities to attend to. We are responsible adults after all.

But sometimes when the winter break was too full of work and sickness (we don’t do the holidays any other way apparently) and it didn’t feel like a break at all it seemed as if there was a day of play that should be made up for. So when I randomly looked at the weather and the beach called for warmer temps and more sunshine than home, my heart said “You have to go.” Because when glorious weather and an 8 year old birthday collide on the same day, it seems too good to be true and I decided we had to drop it all and play hooky.

We woke up and had cinnamon rolls and as if that weren’t good enough news for the birthday morning, we surprised the kids with news that we were skipping school and playing hooky. Jenna’s eyes were wide with disbelief because she couldn’t believe we would actually take a day away from school to play and celebrate. But play and celebrate we did and it was perfect.

There aren’t many totally perfect days in life, lots of great ones, but not perfect. And this day felt perfect. Sun on our face, sand between our toes, a day together in one of our favorite places, seeing friends, a surprise free stop at the aquarium, lots and lots of laughter and tucking in two grateful, happy kids at the end of the day. It just doesn’t get much sweeter than that.

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Life is short, friends get cancer, the evil and terror in the world as we’ve watched on the news this past week is overwhelming. Sometimes we just have to turn it all off, be spontaneous, and play hooky. Because glorious weather and birthdays don’t always coincide. Because we only get one 8th birthday to celebrate our miracle girl. Because we only have a 4 year old and 8 year old who want to build sand castles together  (between fights of course) for such a short time. Because not all days are created equal. Because we don’t know what tomorrow might bring. Because of all those reasons, we played hooky.

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God surprises us with perfect days once in a while, we relish in it. We soak it in. And when the not so perfect days come, we look back with fondness on those special one of a kind days like this one and remember with a smile.

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I’m not an advocate of being an irresponsible human. Maybe it’s my age, or sensing that life is short and kids grow up too fast (and somedays not fast enough. Why do 4 year olds still lick random things?), or feeling like life can just be too serious or painful. Whatever it is, I’m thinking there may have to be more days of spontaneous fun, a couple days a year to just play hooky. Not just days to lay on the couch and do nothing, but quality days with people you love doing something that matters or makes a memory. Those are the days worth dropping everything for once in a while. It may be just what the soul needs. What about you? When was the last time you played hooky?

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