Last week we were just returning from a lovely vacation near Lake Michigan. We stayed in a big wooden lodge in the Michigan woods with our extended family. We had five families totaling ten adults and fourteen kids. It was an amazing week. The kids were never bored. There was always someone to play with. There were plenty of impromptu soccer games, crafts, child-directed and performed plays. There was time in nature and lots of laughter. The kids weren’t asking to watch shows. The adults weren’t glued to their phones. There was always someone to chat with or some time to read a book in peace. No one had to cook every single night because we took turns. We were able to do something simple that eludes so many modern parents: we fully relaxed.
While I was relaxing, I had some time to think. It truly sunk in how difficult we’ve made modern life with kids by isolating ourselves from our village. We parents work so incredibly hard every single day to keep our kids supervised, fed, entertained, and fulfilled. It’s hard and often lonely.
I left the lodge ready to make some changes. Although we cannot import a village of trusted grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins into our daily lives, we can do more to build local connections and community. We can unglue ourselves from our phones. We can spend less time in the car and more time in nature.
As we were getting ready to head home, I ran across this incredible alphabet inspiration art by Little Truths Studio. It encapsulated everything I want to do. Connect more. Gather more. Have more adventures. Unplug. Read more books. Get more sleep. I’ll post updates on my progress throughout the year.
I’m looking forward to having the print hanging in my home as a reminder. If you’d like to order a copy, you can buy one from Little Truths Studio here. (I have no ties to the illustrator or studio. I’m simply a fan.)