Baby E came shuffling down the hall and into the kitchen this morning with a look of worry on his face.
“Mommy, do I have to get married?” he asked.
“No, you don’t have to. Only if you want to,” I replied.
“When I grow up I’m never getting married!”
“Why not?” I asked.
“Because everyone I know is already married,” he said with a sigh and sadly turned out of the room, his four year old heart consigning himself to a life of tragic bachelorhood.
Thankfully for him, this evening he had rallied himself and had chosen a bride from among his unmarried friends and informed me that he would be bringing her to live with us after they had grown up and tied the knot!
Last Thursday, I had a mid morning appointment that was an hour and a half from home. I got up, got dressed, collected my things and headed out the door. As I flung my purse in the passenger side and climbed into the van, I was shivering from the cold. The temps were hovering around one degree with a windchill lower than that. My first attempt to turn on the van resulted in a stuttering, coughing sound as I watched the instrument panel flicker and the arrows dance. Try as I may, it would not start. In its whining and sputtering, it was echoing my own sentiments about the temperature. Defeated, I went back inside and rescheduled my appointment.
It was a far cry from this afternoon, when the kids and I pulled up to the park with bikes and helmets loaded in the back. 73 degrees! It’s been months since we have been to our creek. In fact, I think the last time was before my dad’s surgery. As winter set in, I figured we would not see it until spring because of the long walk to get us there. But with the weather being so nice today, I decided to take the kids to see how our creek has faired during the winter.
C and Big E put on their helmets and road their bikes along the path to the creek. Baby E and I followed on foot. When we got there, we took some time to point out the differences. The water was higher. The pebble beach was smaller. The island in the center of the creek was gone. The kids dipped their fingers in the frigid water, rubbing the slimy stones that blanketed the stream bed. With the leaves gone, and the bare branches stretching to the sky, our stream felt exposed. Not two hundred yards away, construction has begun on what will undoubtably be a swath of townhomes and chain restaurants, but thankfully it is happening down stream and shouldn’t taint our water.
When the kids bored of the scene, they got back on their bikes and we continued down the trail until their legs tired, and sweat beaded on their faces. They were ready to go back. We made it to the playground and they ran and played and laughed for an hour. After weeks and weeks of harsh weather we welcomed the sunshine on our faces and the warm breeze playing with our clothes!
It was 7am when Tim and I pulled into our driveway this morning, both of us fighting the fatigue that had settled heavily on us as we left the job site. We came in and headed straight to bed. I woke up three hours later and couldn’t fall back to sleep. Leaving Tim to rest, I hunted down some food, spent some time with the kids, and then made my way back to bed. When I woke a few hours after that it was time to get up. The rest of my day was pretty foggy and my body is sore from the overnight work. I don’t know how I pulled so many all nighters in college, but the days when I could do that on a regular basis are long gone! However I really did enjoy the opportunity to spend so much time with dear hubby.
Date night might be a fancy restaurant or catching a movie or even a trip to the grocery store sans children.
But it can also be take out Thai food and an all nighter on a job site with your best friend. It’s 3:36 and we are still going strong! Praying we can be done by 5 and on our way home for some much needed sleep.
I may be exhausted, but at least my date is excellent company!
These moments are happening less and less. Baby E crawls up onto my lap and snuggles his warm body against mine. After a few moments of fidgeting, his limbs begin to calm, his breathing becomes more steady, and his eyes start to close. I can feel his muscles relax and the weight of his body press harder into mine. That’s when I know he’s asleep.
I sit there, careful not to disturb him while I relish in a moment I recognize as fleeting. He’s growing up and it’s happening quickly. So I kiss the top of his head, I let his hair tickle my face, and I try to memorize it all- the smell of his hair, the rhythm of his breath, the twitching of his mouth as he dreams. Were it in my power I’d stop time. I’d linger in these moments until I had my fill. But I can’t, so I’ll treasure them in my heart and recall them when he’s grown.