“Are you signing up your kids for something?”
My friend is thumbing through the local community education catalogue, marking important class dates with a ballpoint pen.
“Definitely swimming lessons,” she says, completing the class registration form.
“When are they going?” I ask, thinking of my own two girls, not yet proficient at the front crawl or backstroke.
“Oh,” I hesitate. “We don’t really do much on Saturdays.”
“It’s not too bad,” she assures me. “It doesn’t start until ten.”
I picture myself at 10 am on Saturday, still in my pink pajamas, sipping a second cup of hazelnut coffee. My girls, clad in princess pj’s and fuzzy monkey slippers, are busy hosting a doll tea party. My husband, outstretched on the sofa, is lost in a biography. Our kitchen holds the evidence of an earlier feast: sticky maple syrup decorates the tablecloth, and a box of pancake mix sits aside the electric griddle. The dishes, stacked high in the sink, will have to wait. I have a newspaper to read, a magazine to peruse. It is Saturday morning: a well-earned day of laziness in a harried world.
My Saturdays haven’t always been simple. When I was a young girl, each Saturday began with ice skating lessons, followed by a half-hour drive to a downtown Cleveland music conservatory for piano and violin instruction. Mom was my chauffeur, pulling over at the McDonald’s drive-through to buy burgers and shakes, which we ate en route. Despite this schedule, I loved every minute of my Saturdays with Mom. Because she worked full-time as a second-shift industrial nurse, I didn’t see her nearly enough during the week. Even today, she recalls our Saturday mornings with fondness. “Remember how we’d drive to the Institute?” she says. “And then get something to eat?”
Thirty years later, I am a mother. My weekdays are filled with novel writing, volunteering, and driving my girls to and from Girl Scouts, music lessons, and church activities. By week’s end, I yearn for a lazy day. Perhaps it is selfish, but I like to turn off the alarm clock and dream about hotcakes and bacon. At our house, Saturdays are about simplicity: no errands, lessons, or sports practices.
I believe that simple Saturdays are good for my daughters. Laughter fills the house as we spend relaxed time together as a family.
“Can I crack the eggs for the pancakes, Daddy?” my youngest asks, twirling around the kitchen, a spatula in one hand.
“Mama, you slept in again!” teases my eldest as I stumble into the kitchen, rubbing my eyes as I search for my coffee mug.
I know my girls are watching, and I hope they remember: everyone needs a day to recharge and reconnect. Saturday is sacred: a lazy day full of promise, a gift to spend as we please.