Maybe it is because we are otherwise so busy, but my family has come to embrace our daily/weekly routines like they are the lifeline to our sanity - and maybe they are. Each day of the week has been carefully choreographed and at this point all of us move almost instinctively through the arrangement. The beauty of this system is that everyone always knows who is in charge (i.e., is it dad's night or mom's), what is going on (school, ballet, soccer, piano, gymnastics, swimming, park, homework), what is coming next, and is generally on the same page as to what the sum total of the experience is going to be.
While the overall scheduling took some iteration and negotiation, now that we have it figured out, it means there is no frantic thinking or texting: are you picking up the kids or am I? We can schedule our work, workouts and personal stuff around our standing nights off from the kids (of the 7 nights, I do 2 on my own and get 2 nights off), and in the event that one of us is really crunched at work or travelling, we cover for each other with the tacit understanding that the coverage is reciprocated and the schedule resets as soon as possible. This blueprint of days, times, and specific responsibilities means that it all works - just barely.
This is all a long way of saying that the recent change in our Sunday schedule was a very conscious decision and one that we did not make lightly. For the last 4 years (roughly), we have spent almost every Sunday morning that we are home at our gym. The kids go to the on-site daycare for about 2 hours while my husband and I get our best workout of the week in. Then we spend the rest of the morning at the pool, doing swim lessons, swimming as a family and having lunch. It has been lovely, in so many ways.
But now the kids are getting older and their swim schedules have migrated to a Saturday morning schedule, which means Saturday is our new Sunday and we now have a free Sunday morning. After talking over the options, we tried a new "routine" last Sunday that was met with an enthusiastic response by all family members, including the dog.
Basically, after a leisurely pancake breakfast, we piled into the car around 9AM and headed 35 minutes north to the Presidio. There, I got to rock climb at Planet Granite for about an hour while the rest of the family gallivanted around on Crissy Field. I then took over with the kids and dog, unpacking the bikes so they could ride around while my husband jogged over to the Marina Green to play touch rugby for 1.5 hours. When he returned I did a 45 minute run with the dog through the fantastic Presidio trails. With everyone now happy and exhausted from hours of vigorous exercise, we headed to the Arguello restaurant to enjoy a beer, chips and guacamole and fish tacos on the sunny patio. We were home by 3PM, tired and happy to spend the rest of the day chilling at home and going to bed early in preparation for the week ahead.
It may not be everybody's idea of a perfect Sunday, but it is definitely my family's idea of a perfect Funday, and we will be back to this beautiful and diverse place next week. We might be climbing, running or biking; we might be windsurfing; we might be at the beach or at the House of Air - but wherever we are we will be playing hard and welcoming anyone who wants to join in the fun, and grab a beer afterwards.