Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day of Rest

One of my favorite childhood memories of Sundays is of my Mom, Dad, and I sitting in the living room together, exchanging different sections of the Sunday paper. I'd of course get the comics first and then I'd read the Parade magazine section. It wasn't until many years later that I'd look at other sections of the paper, but I loved the peaceful expected tradition of these Sundays. "Which section of the paper do you have now?" one would ask the other, and I'd smile as they'd each get up to pass their section of the paper off to the other. Often my Dad would play classical music on Sundays too. In fact, every so often I find myself turning on Vivaldi or Chopin on Sunday mornings and thinking of those peaceful days. We may have taken off for a swim at camp in the summer or a cross-country skiing trek in the winter, but classical music and the reading of the Sunday newspaper always were a part of our day of rest.

In our household now, Sundays are often set aside for morning Mass, grocery shopping, a nice Sunday dinner, and homework. The kids work on assignments due and I am usually correcting papers. I used to read the Sunday paper cover to cover each week but when my workload increased as did our subscription price, we canceled the paper and I began turning to the news online. Still, there is a nice pace to school year Sundays--the day is relaxed and although I usually can manage to play some music, I also find the sound of my husband's tv football games to be relaxing. We sometimes have an event that takes us out of the house on Sundays but our usual routine is to be at home, working on schoolwork and getting things set for the workweek ahead. It's often a good day that goes by all too quickly.

Yesterday, before we returned home from a great family evening out, Emma asked what we'd be doing today. When I said that we did not yet have plans, she was quick to say that she would like to have a day off. Now it might seem strange that in the middle of summer she would say this, but she has been busy with Driver's Education classes, driving time with her instructor, a Saturday work day, and on top of that, although enjoying various fun activities, she'd been on the go with friends and family. She pointed out that she had not been able to sleep in for several days and was looking for a day of just doing "whatever". "You guys can go do something though if you want, a movie or the beach or whatever", she added.

But as it turned out, we all took the day off. First, since no one had eaten breakfast, I suggested we have blueberry pancakes for brunch. It felt good to take time to make my family a hearty meal, no bowls of cereal today. My husband ran to pick up some milk and after picking up the kitchen, I took some time to read the Sunday paper he'd bought me. I read that and a magazine out on the deck while my husband enjoyed some tv. Paul soon got an invite to a friend's house and headed there on his bike. Emma did her own thing and took time to write. Hours later I called her for the next meal, but overall, she simply enjoyed her time off. My husband and I settled in to watch a movie together and played with the puppy who seemed very happy to have an easy day at home too. Early in the evening we did take a couple of hours to get some work done for our meeting at school the next day, but we were quick to both say, "Okay. That's enough for today". It was a Sunday after all, not to mention a Sunday in July!

As the day came to an end and everyone headed up to bed, I got thinking of how at one point in the afternoon I'd stopped and realized that whether it's summertime or not, I am always perfectly content and happy to have an easy going Sunday. I would have been up for other plans for today and had it been any other day, I may have insisted on our getting some big chore done or at least some activity that would "make the most of our day", but I am pleased that Emma claimed today as a day off. She may not have made the declaration for her Dad and I, but like Eric said to me tonight, "It was great not to have to do anything or go anywhere today".

I only wish I had thought of going to the stereo. It would have been nice to hear a little classical music today. That was the only thing that was missing.

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