Thursday, August 20, 2015


"I have to go into work for a few hours," he says.  

I might roll my eyes, but of course I understand.  With students arriving in just a few short days, holiday or not, I have to.  

And so he walks out the door and it's just the four of us again.  

The big boys run upstairs and their chatter streams into the kitchen, softening me.  I think, for the first time in days, what could we do together?  The thought feels good.

I open Finn's baking book and flip through.  I find the simplest recipe and prepare the ingredients.  Before I know chairs are screeching up beside me, little boys climbing up.  "What can we do?  What can we do?" they ask, and I'm not annoyed.  It surprises me, this feeling of calm.  It's been missing lately, but I don't realize until now.  This moment.

The grabbing and the reaching, the flour absolutely everywhere, they don't bother me today.  And when our cheese twists crumble instead of twist, we place them in funny patterns on the baking paper, and in 8 minutes we realize they taste just as good.  Maybe better.  

"Mom, can you build a lego city with us?"

"Yes," I say, and am surprised how easily it leaves my mouth.  "But first, coffee."  They understand.  They have to.  

I pour the milk and a few drops drizzle out.  It's not enough.

"Boys!" I call.  "I have a job for you."

"What?" they ask, suspicion lurking in their little voices.

I hand them six coins and send them to the corner store.  Their eyes light up as they skip out the gate.  A few minutes later they sprint through the door triumphantly, milk in hand, and my heart nearly bursts with the joy of them.  

I kiss their faces because I want to.  Because I know they understand face kisses more than words that are said all the time.  They can't tune out face kisses.

I make my coffee and they watch with pride as I pour the milk.  Then we sit together.  For the first time in days, I think, I want to be together.  Not doing dishes or cleaning up toys or making dinner, while they play in the background.  I let the dishes sit and the toys scatter and decide pizza for dinner isn't such a bad idea.  

We don't talk much.  But we build.  Together.  They look up at times, and with deep breaths excitedly explain their latest building project.  They make me stop my own building to pause and appreciate theirs.  And I do.

From time to time Benjamin rolls in like a baby Godzilla, and I distract him with some cuddles, or I build him a train track, and then I get back to my big boys, whose need for me isn't as apparent, but just as pressing.  And every bit as real.

When I sit back I can see the three of them, deeply involved in their own play.  And with my coffee in hand I know that right here, right now, I'm happy.  With this simple scene unfolding before me, colorful legos snapping together, intermittent "choo-choo's" from behind the couch, I'm about as happy as it gets.  

And for this moment I'm grateful.  Because I'm aware it can't stay this way.  That these moments are gifts.

I'll unwrap this gift slowly.  This lazy, peaceful day at home.  The pajamas at noon, the hot coffee in hand, the three beautiful boys longing for time with me.  

And today I'll give it to them gladly.  Because today nothing needs to be done.  Today nothing is more important than lego cities and train tracks and messy baking.  

And although I realize it can't be like this every day, I also realize that today, it can.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful day you all had! I love your brings back good memories of my boys when they were young.