Jason and I have both been feeling a strong pull to each spend time with Lorelei and Phoebe individually, especially with all of the growing pains and challenges the girls have had this summer with turning two and four and with the stress of our move. One-on-one time felt like a way to help them feel special, so we decided to make weekends a two-fer, with one day spent together doing a family activity and one day spent separately, trading off the kid/parent pairings each week, and letting the kids (for the most part) choose what they'd like to do most.
Last weekend was our first time trying it. Lorelei and I spent the morning wandering around the New Orleans Museum of Art. It was her first time at an art museum, and we had fun walking from room to room until something caught our eye: "pick where you'd most like to travel" amongst the landscapes, choosing our favorite dresses from the gallery of portraits, standing reallyreallyclose and then f a r a w a y from the Impressionist paintings, describing what the abstract paintings might be if we didn't read the placards. Her favorite gallery was the Louisiana Art wing, and she was enamored with the enormous "Battle Royale" painting by Alexis Rockman most of all.
Afterwards, we walked over to Carousel Gardens and went on a few rides that Phoebe is too little for. Lorelei asked to go on one ride all by herself, so I had the pleasure of leaning against the fence, watching her try to figure out how to make her little airplane go up and down and happily wave to me from high above.
Now that Lorelei is in preschool every morning, my time with her feels especially precious. I love taking both of our kids on adventures together and watching their sisterly friendship develop, but I'm already feeling selfishly protective of these twice-a-month dates with my big girl and getting a glimpse of what our mother-daughter lunches might look like ten or twenty or thirty years. The view from here suggests it's going to be pretty great.