Weekends can be busy, so I like to slow down on Mondays and breathe deeply. I realized a long time ago that Monday isn't the best day for us to have out-of-the-house plans. I like a day free of obligation; I sleep in and have a really gentle morning. I usually do the laundry and tidy the house. I write, answer email, and read. I generally make a more involved dinner (slow food, not fancy food).
The boys, too, seek something different on Mondays. Weekends are exciting for them, even if we haven't done much. Just having Papa home is wonderful, and they naturally try to cram in as much as they can in terms of basketball, bike rides, and belly laughs. Sundays are our family nature day, and we usually get out and walk, bike, or hike, preferably in a more natural setting that our little house in the suburbs provides.
Mondays the boys tend to seek out projects, such as building huge Lego train layouts or constructing forts in the backyard. Having had Papa as a playmate all weekend, they reconnect with each other as best friends. Their imaginations run wild and they often have a narrative running through the day, a story that builds sometimes phrase by phrase with them taking turns picking up the plot and moving it forward. Later in the week they will seek more from me, but Monday is their freedom day.
Late Monday afternoon feels wonderful. I'm rested and rejuvenated. The scent of delicious food is usually wafting down the hall, and Papa gets a whiff out front before he ever sets foot inside (tonight it is chicken-vegetable soup, with a gluten free Irish soda bread). Papa has been gone long enough (4 - 5 hours after lunch) that we are starting to miss him. I patiently await the feel of his embrace and that first kiss of the evening. For 30 seconds he will be mine, and then he'll be pulled away to see the layout, the fort, or to shoot hoops.
Some times I am heading out on Monday right after dinner, for a moms' night out, a book club, or a natural parenting group. So we sit together and form our family circle once more as we eat dinner and share our days with one another. Monday evening is as joyful as Friday; a week in front of us, full of potential and promise.