Kevin related this story to me. He and Matthew were playing football in the yard over the weekend. They were having a good time laughing and tackling and whatever it is boys do. Kevin said to "Matthew let's run routes!" This gave Matthew pause apparently. Then Matthew replied "Routes? Like a paper route?"
True story - I was recently telling Matthew it is too bad that kids do not have paper routes any more because now he cannot carry on the family tradition. My dad, brother and Kevin all had paper routes when they were young.
Kevin took Marisa out on Saturday to run an errand (side story: I got a new REAL cell phone that can take pictures and do text messages and OMG welcome us to the 21st century y'all!) Matthew did not want to go along so we stayed home to read a chapter out of his book then I suggested going outside to enjoy the beautiful cloudy COOL day. I brought some fake Oreo cookies (organic vanilla sandwich cookies which are WAY better then the real thing, TRUST ME!) out to eat on the front porch. I figured we would play soccer or ride bikes, the usual thing. It rained out for the first time in weeks and still looked to be threatening rain. Matthew took off running and ran under one of the Pear trees and said "it's the raining tree" because it was indeed "raining" on him in the wind. This lead to Matthew grabbing my hand requesting a walk under more raining trees. In my head, I was all 'NO WAY KID I just ran seven miles I donot awanna' all whiny like.
I have never been so glad to go on a walk. This walk was pure five year old imagination. We walked through sink hole valley, we rode unicorns, and foraged rivers with canoes and without. We passed through Leprechaun forest, we rushed under the evil snake tree and rode on sleds down an icy hill avoiding lions and tigers and bears (OH MY!) We took the long way and went around two blocks. We laughed and hopped and jumped for almost an hour. It was the best hour ever. Hand's down ever.
Kevin and Matthew had an errand to run last night after dinner to help friends move something. Marisa and I stayed behind. Marisa loved having one on one time. We played with her stack-able frogs, her barn puzzle and her love book. Then I suggested she take a bath to which she happily complied. She got all ready and put a bunch of toys in there. She got to play happily in the running water and when it was time to turn the water off she did this happily too. Usually the kids take a bath together which lately has been a lot of fighting and crying (by all involved parties including US) so she loved having everything to herself. After playing with the toys she put everything up out of water and "swam". She floated on her back and tummy and blew bubbles. Then we washed with soap. After playing a bit more I announced it was time to get out.
She did this happily and brushed her teeth - again usually a lot of tears and anger. I suggested we get my hair dryer and she was over the moon about this. SHE LOVES THE HAIR DRYER!
She giggled and held on to it and we blew most of her hair dry. Then we went to get dressed and I suggested putting on lotion. Another thing we never have time for or Matthew is all over me giving her too much special attention. She did it all by herself, I poured and she slathered it on. It was just so great to get special time with her and baby her and wow, I just felt so blessed and lucky.
The past couple of nights after I read a book or two to Marisa she wiggles down, grabs some books and interrupts Kevin reading to Matthew. She said "Matt-phew read?" and plunks the books down on the bed, climbs up and listens to Matthew telling the board book "story". It so amazing to watch them. He tries super hard to read and seems to be catching on to the whole reading comprehension concept quickly from this. In turn, Marisa sits rapt, her attention mostly on the book and Matthew, which is a BIG DEAL because her attention span is about 4.3 seconds lately, if that.
There are plenty of moments where things are not so wonderful. We yell or get angry. Some of us have tantrums and fits and times outs and others of us go put ourselves in self imposed time-outs or back deck 'walks'. This weekend felt like a good one, a better one then most because of these simple little moments.
Parenting is a little like surfing. You wait on your board for a good wave and when you find that rad wave you ride that thing all the way in as far as it will take you. That is how I am trying to look at these good moments, that they will come and go but there will always be more and many of them will be good and some will be not so good but we just have to keep trying to ride them or we may miss out on them entirely.
ADDENDUM: I failed to mention that Matthew wanted to run with Kevin who recently (as in YESTERDAY) decided he needed to start exercising again (YAHOO!) So Kevin took Matthew on his first run in weeks. They ran about 1.5 miles before Matthew needed to stop because both his legs hurt and he had a stitch in his side (this might have applied to Kevin too :) I was impressed they made it that far. The kid is plucky I tell you and I was a proud Momma. I was all my five year old totally just ran a mile and a half like it was nothing then he came home and stained the flipping fence with his Daddy afterwards. PLUCKY.