When my children were very young, there were some days that seemed longer than others. But I came up with a plan: I would toss them into the car to visit their grandparents, at least once a week and often more. As a young mother, I learned that a 30 minute drive would calm us all down on those days when nothing else could. It was a guaranteed nap for the stubbornly nap-less of the three (hello, Hally), and they all looked forward to an afternoon in the country.
During the summer months, they were allowed to poke around in the vegetable garden. If the time was right, they would pull up the often small and always oddly shaped carrots, wash them off in the barn, and gobble them up on the spot or feed them to the horses in their stalls. "Helping" to feed the horses was a thrill, and after distributing the oats and hay, we would head up to the house for a cup of tea. he cookie jar was always full and the tea was better than anything I could brew. My Father-In-Law always said it was the result of the fine quality of his well water, but I'm not so sure about that. There's much to be said for the virtue of tired, happy children.
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