The other foot
The other day while catching up with an old friend, amidst gushing about how-freaking-good life has been to me lately, I absentmindedly mentioned that “it almost makes me wonder when the other foot’s going to drop.” I’m typically an optimistic person, yet I’ve found that in times of great inner calm and great happiness, there’s often a bit of me that braces myself for a cyclical life, a bit of me that is familiar with the phrase “All good things must come to an end.” But then my phone lit up with a text in response: Maybe it already has.
Those four words flooded me with a new perspective. Maybe life isn’t cyclical. Maybe all good things must not necessarily come to an end. Maybe it’s “safe” to whole-heartedly enjoy and embrace the good. And hell, maybe it HAS already dropped.
My first spring robin showed up last week. He was beautiful and brave and regarded me as I snapped photos and videos of him with giddy fervor.
I’ve been so excited to write this post, to have a chance to linger over the memories of this past week, because it has been just that wonderful. Working night shift can really mess with a person’s sleep schedule. I have trouble going to bed early and therefore trouble waking up early. After a while, that’s SO taxing, especially with two sweet little girls who have to wake mama out of her stupor and then still isn’t very functional before 11 a.m. So, last week, I decided to grab the bull by the horns and MAKE myself go to bed before the ripe hour of 3 a.m., and to MAKE myself wake up first.
I’ve been seeing a lot of 6:30 a.m. these days. It has been such a therapuetic experience, just standing there in my kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil while watching the sun ease itself above the horizon to wish me good morning. To snuggle up in my robe and sip my tea while scrolling through seven years worth of family photos. It allows me time to wake up enough before my little sprites do, so that when they do, I’m fully energized and ready to be the mama they deserve. The kind of mama that makes home made bread.
The kind of mama who has the patience to let them help.
As the daughter of a woman who made bread from scratch every week, I can tell you firsthand, there are few things as outrageously fun as a kid than having your mom give you permission to punch the crap out of a plump, fluffy, powdery hunk of dough. My kids were not immune to my cool-mom wiles and were delighted by the whole experience. I believe this will become a regular thing in our household.
I’ve been very introspective this week. I’ve been quietly observing my little family and the way we interact with one another, the way we know and understand each other unlike anyone else knows and understands us. The amazing thing about children is that while we are each unique and separate, when we come together, we are also a singular entity with its own pulse, its own aura. We know each others quirks. We all know that Scarlett is whiney, Cecilia does whatever she damn-well pleases, Daddy gets moody, and Mommy sleeps a lot. We also know that Scarlett has a sixth sense for a person’s mood and will not rest until she’s sure that he or she is in good spirits, Cecilia has an amazing sense of humor, Daddy keeps us doing fun and interesting things together, and Mommy keeps the peace. We know these things about each other, and we all work together remarkably well.
This weekend was filled with lots of family time. I did crafts with the kids, we had dinner out the four of us, we ran simple errands together and on Friday when the day was done and the kids were (finally!) tucked in bed at – eek! – 11 p.m., Scot and I organically fell into our barstools at the kitchen counter and began feasting on chocolates, cheese, home-made bread with Tuscan Herb olive oil and wine, of course.
We just sat and talked and ate and sipped and laughed and reminisced for the next hour or so before we tucked ourselves in bed. It was the epitome of a low-key, relaxing evening. It was so enjoyable that we found ourselves the same place, same time the next night for Round 2.
Sunday night Scot and I decided to go our respective ways — he on his computer, programming away happily, and I deeply engrossed in the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy (seriously guys, I know it’s just a glorified soap opera, but I freaking love.that.show!) when Scot plopped down next to me with his laptop, put some headphones on my ears, pressed “play” and smiled at me. This is what I heard: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPKuECIHeKI
I know. I was crying by the end of the first line of lyrics.
For those of you who do not already know, my husband and I were married at 18 and in our nearly-seven years of marriage, we’ve hit more than a little turbulance. Separated for a summer, in the process of filing for divorce, custody battles at the forefront of both our minds, we both caught a glimpse of each other again… We decided, what if things just suck for awhile? What if we stay together anyway? What if we wait this out? That was almost two years ago.
I can tell you right now: It did suck for a while. I know there were moments we both questioned our choice to stay. But I also know that next to marrying the guy in the first place, sticking with him is easily the best choice I’ve ever made. It didn’t happen overnight, but one day I realized the tension was gone and all that stood in its place was an intense love only heightened by the storms we’ve weathered together. He is my teammate, my best friend, my inspiration. He is my one true North. I love him.
And with that lingering bit of Valentine’s Day mush, I bid you farewell… Until next time.