While we are still in the midst of a pandemic, we have become pretty good at creating things to do, as a family, that keeps us all interested, learning, and having fun. Being around one another as much as we have, has really tested our family bond and honestly, “like” for one another. It gets a little tense at times, but I think we’ve figured out a surefire way to get us back in each other’s good graces when the closeness has become a little too close.
1. We cook together!
Not just cooking, but searching for new recipe ideas and going to the grocery store to find the ingredients. Everyone has a task that they are responsible for. Noah, for example, may be in charge of ensuring we have all of the necessary tools (measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, grater, knives, sauce pan, etc.). Gillian may be in charge of food preparation (chopping, dicing, juicing, zesting, etc.). Pete is the chef extraordinaire, and I am the kitchen manager! Ha! Yes, sometimes, it gets a little heated in the kitchen, pun intended, but as we cool off and get into our groove, we begin to laugh, talk, and share memories that create an air of family love that leaves us feeling grateful to have one another.
2. We explore our city!
We live in metropolitan Atlanta, which means there are a number of areas that offer many things to do and see. Sometimes we plan our trips, but more often than not, we happen upon newfound places of interest by driving through neighborhoods or enjoying the adventure from a street-level perspective by pounding the pavement. We can always count on finding quaint eateries with fan-favorite dishes, one-of-a-kind shops, and parks that invite you to while away the hours. Depending on the neighborhood, we can sometimes find ourselves in thoughtful conversations about the street art that has been carefully painted on sides of buildings, fences, and bridges that make for the most interesting walking tour of art.
3. Museum day is highly anticipated!
Museum day is usually on an early Sunday afternoon. This is the time of day where everyone is in a good mood, the day is just getting started, and we are all looking forward to getting out. We’ve been doing museum day for a few years and I must admit, when we first started, it was not fun! The moans and groans from Noah and Gillian were almost too much to bear, but as luck would have it, they both have developed an appreciation for the history, beauty, and stories that abound, and now look forward to our visits with great anticipation.
4. We work out together!
Okay, so this only happens once a week on Saturday mornings. There is a park that we go to that has a wonderful walking trail where we often see wild turkey and deer. If we don’t make it to the park, we stay home and do a five-minute meditation and series of stretches and exercises that require minimal weight or even just our own body resistance. This workout time is sometimes cut short by the loving teasing; usually, I’m the one being teased; when one of us cannot do the stretch, pose, or exercise correctly. We have a lot of fun doing this together.
5. Netflix night!
There have been several great Netflix original series and movies since the pandemic, and we take the time to watch. We enjoy watching the shows together because we know we are always going to have a great conversation about it afterward. This has been such an awesome way for Pete and me to learn even more about Noah and Gillian without asking some of the predictable and annoying questions that parents frequently ask their kids to find out what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with; or how they feel about various topics and issues.
The whole idea behind doing these things together as a family is to get to know things about the other that we did not know, as well as to learn and grow while strengthening our bond. The pandemic has been the most horrific thing, to date, that my family has experienced, however it has also been one of the best things, as it has allowed time for activities that we may have not tried if we didn’t have the time on our hands. I would love to hear what you and your family do together for fun and how it has impacted your relationship.