Sunday April 30, 2017
I wake to a kiss from 17 month old Wilder, open my eyes to huge grin, baby ready to greet the new day as he is everyday, with reckless abandon and dreams of the most exciting kind; what could this day hold, he wonders, and always the answer is nursing and grass and toys and chase and brothers and sisters and daddy, and what a marvelous thing to find such joy in the beautifully redundant every day.
I lie with him, hold him, he giggles, and soon I smell coffee brewing, fresh from my husband, and I rise, sun streaming in behind curtains, baby on my hip, kiss for the man who makes me coffee on Sunday mornings and works so hard, without complaint. Today he is leaving for a week, heading north for training, and we only have a few hours together this morning, which I try not to think of. We sit and drink coffee in sunlight while Wilder roams and plays and the other kids sleep.
Until they begin to wake, and always Wilder greets each one with a smile and arms up for a hug, which he promptly receives. There's breakfast and playing and dressing, this wild time of the day that crashes through and it's hard to remember it, and it's the one time I know that I need to get a hold of, to create a calm, a peaceful beginning to the days, and I tell myself this week I will get on top of it, this week morning will set the tone for the day and it will be one of peace.
Soon I'm ironing shirts to get him ready to go and then he's driving away and my heart stops a moment because I hate this, this time apart. I wasn't made to be without him. And yet I know the week will pass and he will be home and we will make it, so I breathe and head inside to the 7 who wait for the mama alone.
Wilder naps and twins read, Moses and Pearl ride scooters, Layla heads off to meet a friend for some ukulele playing, Josiah is in his room. I sip another cup of coffee and read a bit of Charlotte Mason's A Philosophy of Education, while Vineyard Roots worship music plays softly. Sometimes I find myself overly obsessed with Wilder's naps because they are the moments I have for myself, and it's when I'm too obsessed that they never last, like today, when I sit and breathe and don't want it to end, and then he wakes up too soon, and for a moment I want to cry but then he smiles at me. His smile could end wars.
So we hold hands and walk outside to see Moses and Pearl, to sit in grass desperate to hold on to some green while being scorched from early heat, to breathe fresh air. I fill water balloons, and kids throw and scream and laugh, and I find myself hoping that these are the things they remember when they're grown, not the hard times, not the struggles, but these, the bowls of water balloons and the games and the popping over the head and the dumping bowls of water over one another, and the cries for more and the answer of yes. I hope these things fill their minds and their hearts and their souls and joy, love, is what they remember above all.
Some sort of transition is needed so I put on Moana and make them Silly Sea Life Mac n' Cheese, and they come in and sit and eat and it's calm. I sit outside on the green swinging bench that I always wanted and finally got, holding Wilder, feeling breeze as it finally began to cool down. I strapped him on my back in the Ergo, and we walk around the house watering plants, fighting back against the sudden heat, giving life to plants that don't know what to do momentarily. They will adapt. And I will water them to help.
I'm counting moments until bedtime. I don't normally do that, but tonight with my husband gone, I find myself sad and contemplative, and I'm ready to check out. To read and drink tea and cry a little, to shut my eyes and wake up a day closer, to a school day, a day with focus and direction, where I can get everyone to read and drink tea with me.
The kids are outside for an evening bike ride, and I am soon to join them. We'll sit and feel it cool down and in just an hour or so, they'll come in for the night. We'll read Fablehaven and picture books and soon after, they'll head to bed. And tomorrow begins May.