Sunday, May 26, 2013

value village date nights

One of the biggest adjustments we have had to make since this whole single mom thing, is getting used to a single mom budget. Even when I (he) had money, I was pretty good at stretching it. I grew up with a single mom and frugality was the name of the game.

I didn't expect to love it so much.

Sure, there are days when I cry because I want my kids to have more, but they have enough and honestly? I think they are pretty lucky that they are growing up with an appreciation for something other than things.

Simplify. My new mantra. The word that relaxes, calms, and feeds my soul.

I always knew those hippies were on to something.

Finally, I am catching on too.

For whatever reason (and I'm pretty sure the reason is single-child guilt) I have this idea that every day needs to be special. We need to go somewhere fun, do something we don't normally do, have treats and excitement. I recognize that, but I'm not quite ready to give it up. Life SHOULD be special. We are making memories and who knows what day my kids are going to look back on and remember?

So aside from all of the awesome free activities in and around Tacoma, traditions are plentiful in this family, and there are always new ones brewing.

The latest? Puzzles. Eldon totally digs puzzles and I totally dig anything that holds his attention for longer than 10 seconds. He sits there with his eyes fixed and piece by piece he opens up and spills it all. What he is learning at school, who his favorite friends are, what he remembers doing when he was two, how he feels about his baby brother. He spills it all.

So while other families head to the redbox on a weekend night, we head to Value Village where Eldon picks out a new (hideous) puzzle for $1.99. Not only does this buy us hours of entertainment, but quality time together. Plus, I feel like it's important for every parent to have a "thing" with each of their kids that is special and unique to that particular relationship.

Right now, puzzles are "our thing."

Who knows how long it will last. Preschoolers Kindergartners Preschoolers Almost Kindergarteners go through phases. Puzzles are timeless though, and I really hope this is one thing that we can keep forever. I am going to encourage it and try to carry on this tradition we started without knowing it. Some are planned ahead of time (elf on the shelf) and some are just born, like this one.

So, thanks Value Village and whatever old ladies are donating puzzles to the thrift shop. This gift is one that will keep on giving...for less than two bucks.

Everything about our life is a puzzle lately and every once in awhile, we find a piece we didn't even know was missing. We are getting the hang of this and finding out how everything fits together. I must say, it is coming together quite nicely.