A Perfect Day
Everyone has experienced this at some point in their life. A singular day, a confluence of events and circumstance that when combined together leaves an imprint in our lives. A perfect day. A day we would gladly live over and over again if given the chance. A day of family and friends, celebration and camaraderie. Moments you would capture in amber for the rest of eternity if given the chance.
That day is a little different for each and every one of us. But as part of this little journey, it was helpful for the Grizzlies to find our perfect day. And in finding it we discovered something essential. That our perfect day required very little. No money, no stuff, no driving, no big parties, no events. Our perfect day was simple, and simple has a beauty all its own.
Waking up Together
Our perfect day begins like any other weekend. A gentle rain was falling outside. I can hear it on the roof as the light started to stream through the windows. Baby Bear is the first to wake up. She wakes me up with her newly learned word for one of her favorite stuffed animals, conveniently sitting by the bed. That word, plus a smart slap to my face from a small little hand and I am up. Grizzly Mom stirs shortly after.
We all spend the next hour together. Playing with a bunch of cuddly stuffed animals. Reading a few articles on my laptop and watching a ton of cute golden retriever videos on youtube. We have nowhere to go and nothing to do so we can afford to waste an hour in bed.
We eventually stumble downstairs to breakfast. Grizzly Mom takes Baby eBar, reading her a few of her favorite books: The Very Busy Spider, Corduroy, Goodnight Moon, and a few other classics. I start making my buttermilk biscuits. A simple little recipe, nothing more than flour, butter, baking soda, sugar, and buttermilk. But the results are something amazing: a tiny piece of warm goodness as they come out of the oven. Baby Bear likes to grab one just for herself even though each one is almost half the size of her face. Top them with a generous pour of maple syrup, honey, or homemade plum jam from the plum tree in our backyard and you have something as close to ambrosia as you will find in the mortal world.
Add a simple cheese omelet made by Mrs. Grizzly – a few eggs, some goat cheese, some mozzarella – and you have a breakfast fit for a king. We sit in our little kitchen, sunlight starting to come through the clouds as last night’s storm begins to dissipate. A beautiful day is beginning to dawn.
A trip to the park
After breakfast, we head to the park a short walk away from out house. The clouds have cleared and the morning sun is shining: a beautiful day. We spend the next hour watching and joining Baby Bear play: swinging, climbing on jungle gyms, going down slides, chasing ducks, kicking a small little soccer ball around the nearby field. Grizzly Mom and I spend the walk to and from the park talking about anything crosses our minds. Maybe a little politics, maybe some philosophy, maybe nothing at all. We walk through the early morning sunshine enjoying a beautiful day.
An Afternoon of Adventure
The afternoon is spent at home. A mix of many things. We spend time playing soccer in the hallways, Baby Bear just learning how to kick a ball for the first time. We spend time in the nursery playing with Grizzly Mom’s old My Little Ponies, now passed down to Baby Bear. We re-read Bill Pete books for the 18th time. We make stuffed animals dance to music from a 30-year-old music box. Around 1 or 2 we all take a nap curled up on the floor in a heap of blankets.
Dinner at home
Dinner is a simple affair. A hearty mix of ground beef, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and raisins all mixed in a big pot with a few of spices: rosemary, basil, oregano, a pinch of cinnamon and cloves. A hearty loaf of bread made in the moments we had to spare in the afternoon. We make the entire thing together. Grizzly Mom and I chopping vegetables while Baby Bear bangs on pots at our feet. A cheap $4 bottle of wine tops it all off. We sit and eat. Laughing at the wonder of life.
An Evening of Sesame Street and Stars
After dinner, we cuddle on the couch. We throw on reruns of Sesame Street. Baby Bear (and her parents) love Elmo. We watch as the sun sets and night gathers around us. We head out for one last walk through the neighborhood. A full moon rises over the roofs, illuminating quiet streets. The stars spread across the night sky. We talk about nothing at all, enjoying the peaceful night. Baby Bear drifts off to sleep as we round the last corner before coming home. We put her to bed and the two of us cuddle on the couch to finish the last glasses of wine from the bottle we opened earlier.
Live your perfect day
That’s our perfect day. A day we would gladly live again and again if given the option. The defining characteristic is simplicity. There is nothing ostentatious. Just a family waking up, making breakfast, enjoying the day together. There are no major expenses beyond wine and food for dinner and some flour and eggs for breakfast. Living our perfect day for the rest of our lives requires very little. Look for your perfect day and you might find the same thing.