Friday, May 20, 2011

Celebrating Small Days

Today was one of those of those days that I will reflect on fondly for many years to come. It was one of those days that seemed to capture so much of life’s new rhythm as parents, as a family. This was not a big day like yesterday –our fourth wedding anniversary - rather it was a small day. It offered beauty in its simplicity. It was one of those rare days that was full but not busy. What we did might be considered mundane but it was meaningful. It started with bagels in the shade of a cool spring morning at Star Bagel. Smiles spread around the patio as Anderson pointed and babbled incoherently. Next we headed to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens where we delighted in Anderson’s mesmerized exploration of the outdoor Trains! exhibit. There was wonder, infectious laughter as well as defiant crying.

Back at home, while the boys worked in a rare simultaneous nap, Jill & I teamed up to actually clean the floor after weeks of Anderson’s relentless blitzkrieg of tossing food from the high chair. I swept as Jill followed with her prized infomercial loot – the Shark steam mop. I’m still not convinced that it is the most important invention since the home computer but the hardwoods do look nice. We both felt an odd sense of accomplishment at the completion of this menial but all too neglected task. We then packed up our burgeoning family of four into the mini-van and claimed our spots as VIPs for Cupcake-Palooza 2. This sugar slamfest was a tasty fundraiser for Books for Birth which promotes childhood literacy by offering free books to every child in Tennessee. With the three solid food eaters in the full throws of a sugar rush we darted to the playground where Anderson showcased his rapidly improving walking/running skills.

Our arrival back at home invoked the end–of-day routine – a divide and conquer approach with Jill feeding Nathan while I supervised Anderson’s bath and got him into his pajamas. Oh, the joy of splashing. Why do we ever stop splashing? In honor of the day we read “The Little Engine that Could” and “I Dream of Trains.” Then, with a click of the lamp I put Anderson in his crib and sat down in the chair across the room. He was too tired to offer much protest although occasionally he would peer at me through the slats of his crib. He didn’t need to be held –else he would have cried - but just wanted to know that I was still there. As he drifted off the room slowly darkened and I listened to the music that was singing him to sleep. It was JT – the original one – reminding me to “shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel.” I could feel myself actually begin to unwind, loosen, and soften from the collective tension of the last few months.

We didn’t do much today but we shared plenty. We were simply together – here - now. I began to more fully appreciate the rare opportunity we have this summer. With Jill on maternity leave and my graduate studies complete until the fall, the four of us will be stumbling our way into this family thing full-time for the next few months. And this day was a great way to get things started. I’m sure there are many big days ahead for us. But today a small day was just fine.

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