The Unexpected Unforgettables

The other night, instead of our usual walk around our neighborhood, we decided to drive out to George Wyth State Park - just us.  It was Saturday night and we had nowhere to be, nothing to do, and I was giddy with excitement.  These have become my favorite type of weekend nights.  Remember the old TGIF Fridays on ABC?  You know, Step By Step, Full House, Family Matters, and even Hanging with Mr. Cooper??  It's kind of like that.  Although it's a Friday or Saturday night and part of you feels like you really should be out doing something, all you secretly want to do is be at your house in your favorite pair of sweatpants with a bowl of popcorn, an Orange Crush, and the TV remote.  Only now, instead of Mr. Cooper or Uncle Jesse, I have an even better excuse to stay home on a Friday night...

Babysitters are expensive.   

Driving through the back roads of this park nestled deep in the woods brought me back.  Back to weekend night drives with my family before I was old enough to drive myself...the sun beginning to set, the windows down, and the cool night breeze blowing through my hair, bringing summertime relief after a hot day.  Some nights we'd go all the way to Clarksville, pull up to the little Dairy Sweet and order Crunch Cones and ice waters because too much ice cream always made me cough.  Some nights we'd stop at Grandma and Grandpa's and sit on their front porch for awhile, and other times, we'd drive up to the baseball diamonds just as the lights were turned on.  I'm sure these nights seemed so simple, so forgettable to my parents at the time, but they sure stuck with me.  It was that tiny piece of adventure, a tiny piece of the world is ours, and a bigger piece of being up past my bedtime with no school to get up to in the morning.  

And while vacations to a new place are wonderful, and days fully planned with great summertime activities are memorable, it's these simple summertime adventures that are perhaps the most important when you're little.  Like early evening swims that interrupt suppertime, followed by ice cream on the swing set, a quick, refreshing run through a neighbor's sprinkler, and an impromptu walk at a pretty, secluded park.  
I thought about that as we walked on the trails, abandoning the stroller and letting Cruz stroll beside (mostly behind) us, picking up sticks, 'ooh-ing' and 'ahh-ing' at the tall trees above us, and running his famous loose-jointed-bobble-head-doll-sideways-sprint that he does when he's excited to run free and not be confined to a stroller.  It was so quiet out, the lighting was perfectly golden (and begged for the camera I didn't have with me), and Cruz was so happy --- Happy to be walking at his own speed or riding high on his daddy's shoulders.  If someone had told me we were the last three people in the world that night, I would have believed them.  It was so peaceful, so quiet, and so simple - so oftentimes, it is the unplanned moments in life that become some of my favorites.

They are the unexpected unforgettables in this life.  Those moments totally unplanned that make you exude with happiness, silently praying you never forget how it feels to be in that moment.  Sometimes, I have my camera and attempt to capture a piece of it, and other times, I leave it up to my memory.  And although I've always been a planner, and strongly believe it is up to us to cultivate a life of happiness, creativity, and exploration, sometimes it's fun to sit back and wait to be surprised.  

Because generally, life is full of surprises.
What unexpected unforgettables are you living this summer?

Some of mine...

...our walks to the car after an afternoon swim at The Falls.  Cruz is always in a good mood, although he's sleepy, which makes for an unexpected unforgettable anytime you have a sleepy, but happy baby.  This combination usually makes for a snuggly, affectionate boy, one who just recently learned to give 'Eskimo kisses' and sometimes will plant a dozen little kisses on my face, while rubbing his nose back and forth, while caressing my hair and wrapping his arms around my neck.  It's adorable, a little embarrassing, and one of those things I savor because I know it's only temporary...

...nights spent exploring the progress of our garden.  It's grown beautifully, much to all of our surprise, and checking out a new batch of jalapenos or fighting over the first red cherry tomato has become a nightly ritual. 

...last night we spent about 20 minutes literally testing the waters of our front lawn's sprinkler.  Beau couldn't get the setting just right, and the sprinkler was out of control, attacking everything in its path...including the three of us.  There we were, running through this possessed sprinkler, laughing hysterically and probably looking like hickville in our wet clothes and drenched hair.  But, we had nowhere to be and nothing to do, so we played, we laughed, and we tried to warn our neighbor before he got out of his car...

Today is the last Friday the 13th of 2012.  Wishing you a few surprises and some unexpected unforgettables as you start your weekend!