Tell us about us

My kids, like most kids I know love nothing more than to hear about when they were little. Although they are only 6 and 9 and still legitimately in that time period of their lives, they long for the stories of simpler times, when the days seemed to fill in the span of weeks and there was always another craft or game right around the corner. They have been asking for a day like that, to be “surprised with it” almost every day since we had that conversation – unnerving because how could I possibly surprise them if it was planned and yet again how would I remember to do it if they didn’t ask me 84 times? Last night before bed, I made it happen though.
When the kids were really young I was way more organized than I am today somehow. I would cut up fruit and cheeses to store in the fridge for snack-time, make up juice, milk and water bottles or sippy cups and have a puzzle or worksheet or small game out on the kitchen table or highchair to occupy them while I prepared their breakfast. You would think that I would have been carefree and relaxed because of this prep work but I had fallen victim to the same BS I do now – mainly, that I could be doing more and doing it all better.
On the table I laid out crosswords and work sheets, stickers and blank paper where they could create a scene, puzzles and activities for them. There was a comfortable quiet that befell them as they read their checklists and the instructions, worked on the perimeters of those puzzles and took bites of their fruit plates while waiting for their scrambled eggs. Had it always been this lovely?
After breakfast they went to get their own baby dolls and outfitted them with diapers and light blankets, choosing to wear them wrap style for a quick walk around the neighborhood with our dog. As I helped tie their blankets to them I was hit with the strongest sense of looming finality – that one day they wouldn’t want to do this with me anymore. Of course five minutes into our walk (and one roundtrip back to the house because the dog had done his business and I wasn’t keen on carrying it for much longer) sweat had started to trickle down their backs and days’ old bug bites started to itch again and when-are-we-going-home-cause-its-soooooooo-hot started creeping into our conversation so much that in my mind and I didn’t feel much like doing it anymore either. We headed home and the clouds rolled over and the wind picked up and as they drank in the cooler air nearly giddy with the little relief it brought them I told them of all the misadventures we had taken and how the timing always seemed to work out for just this kind of a reprieve so that it would be the most recent thing I would remember and convince me against my better judgement that it was worth trying again and again and again after that. We might just go again tomorrow.


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