Let’s do nothing

“I want to come to your house and do nothing,” my daughter said before spring break. Her days fill quickly with places to go and people to see. Weekends often include birthday parties as well as her tasks as Christian Education director.

Nothing? I could do nothing. Sleep in late, read books, watch TV, shoo the kids outside to play and eat leftovers. I welcomed a half a week of “doing nothing.”

They came Sunday evening after a family birthday party that afternoon.

“I do want to go shopping for shorts for the girls,” she said that evening.

“Have the kids dyed eggs this year?” I asked.

“No. They could do that tomorrow,” she said. I pulled out eggs to boil. In the morning the children would have to walk to the corner store to buy a set of egg dyes.

Early the next morning, I tripped over children sprawled on the floor holding electronic tablets. Mom appeared; the tablets disappeared. The kids reappeared as short parade shaking a tambourine and pounding a drum and wooden peg board with Katie, 2, trailing behind dressed as a princess wearing one pink plastic slipper.

I motioned to Eli, “I want you to help me make 7-Up biscuits for breakfast.” He measured. Caroline mixed and cut biscuits.

“These are the best!” Eli declared.

“Now go to the store and buy egg dye.”

“But Grandma, where is the store?” Daisy, 6, asked.

“Go right at the driveway, left at the next street and keep on walking,” I directed her.

They returned happy to have gone to the store alone and ready to dye eggs. The dozen I had boiled did not suffice. They dyed the unboiled eggs and put them all together for me to sort out later.

We loaded into the van and shopped until their stomach clocks dictated we head home and start making pizza dough. After that I was ready to do nothing. My daughter decided her energetic children needed to mow and trim our yard. She bribed away their complaints with cash rewards and our yard got its spring haircut.

Tuesday, they went to the Museum of Natural Resources and explored the exhibit on the human body including making embarrassing sounds. In the afternoon, the girls pulled out fabric.

“I want a dress and a jacket for my doll,” Caroline laid out a shiny plaid. Daisy wavered between silver or shiny for her doll. We did not get very far. I said I would finish after they went home from their do nothing vacation.

Sharon tripped and hurt her shin. She needed rest. Katie and I needed a nap. Sharon exiled the older kids, “Go outside and play. Do not come in unless you are ready to lay down for an hour.”

They whined. They complained. They went outside and eventually did come in and read for an hour. Katie slept a very long time.

We all rested, except Sharon who designed a flier for church, answered text messages and emails. She also helped me re-arrange our living room. Munchies and a video put us back on track of doing nothing until bedtime.

They woke early. I slept late, served a late breakfast and sat watching the kids discover the Mardi Gras throws we had collected. They wanted it all. Their mom said, “Four.” They spent hours sorting beads, glowing bracelets and stuffed toys before choosing four. Finally they packed up and headed home.

I laid down for a long nap. I needed one after half a week of doing nothing.