White Squares

My kitchen is home to a large, white board, calendar listing the month and each day written with bold, bright colors. Monthly, I scroll the name of each month, grab my desk calendar, and fill in the appointments and scheduled dates for the entire month.

I use the color red to indicate school information; days off, free dress, and hot lunch, among other things, and black is used for baseball; practices, games, batting cages, and snack bar duty. Anything outside of baseball and school is written in purple, brown, green, or blue. With four children living in our home, the calendar is stuffed, the colors pop around the board, and live appears to be chaotic.

Each day our kids look at the calendar to find out what is happening. If the squares were big enough I would include what I am serving for dinner. Wait, if I knew in advance what I was serving for dinner, pre 5:00 p.m. and the squares were big enough, I would include our meals. This would stop our children from asking immediately after they wake up, "What's for dinner tonight?" Does anyone else find that frustrating?

My favorite part of our family calendar are the blank, white squares. Although they are infrequent, I love them. Yesterday was one of those days. I was giddy. We had no place to go, I had no games to attend, we had no appointments, no practices, and the entire day was blank, and white, with a bold black border. Pure joy.

Blank squares are important. Filling up our kids' lives with too much activity isn't good for our family. They need blank squares, and I need to make a concerted effort to place those blank squares deliberately on our calendar.

Are there enough white squares in your life?