A Van Down by the Ocean

Besides being a day that honors a man that strove to follow after God and fought for the bonds of racism to be demolished, Martin Luther King Jr day just happens to be the day that my husband and I had our first date.  Seven years ago now, that is.  An amazing and never boring seven years.

Anyway, on our first date, we went to the aquarium and have gone there annually on MLK Jr day ever since.  The past few years we have, of course, brought the children along.  This year was the best yet with the kids, as Eila was old enough to really look at the creatures in more detail, while Asher’s face lit up just seeing the movements of the fish, alligators, turtles, and so forth.

I love watching my kids experience life.  It makes my experience so much richer.  It is so easy for me to get locked into one stale way of seeing things that adapting their perspective can be like a breath of fresh air.  But my favorite experience today was lunch.

Not because of the food– I had just packed some PB&Js, some grapes, and some cheese, so nothing too exciting there.  Will and I knew it was likely going to be too chilly and possibly rainy to eat outside at the aquarium, so we figured we would just eat in the van on the way home.  As we prepared to leave, we decided instead to drive less than a mile down the road to a pull off area that overlooks the coastline.  As much fun as it would have been to picnic on the beach, it was definitely too windy and was starting to rain, so we made use of our minivan by folding down the back seats and spreading out the blanket we keep on hand for emergencies.  We took the kids out of their car seats and proceeded to have a picnic right there in the back of the van.

And you know what?  It is one of my absolute favorite family memories to date.  I am really starting to learn that the spontaneous moments are some of the best blessings, and that is a big statement coming from my high-expectation-for-special- days self.