My first “best friend,” Lee, was right. She said, “Work outside the home while your children are young. They will need your time at home more when they are older.” I didn’t quite believe that bit of advice. I include the email below because it reminds me of those busy times when the children were younger and I thought I was needed as commander-in-chief. The irony is that my children believe they no longer need my full attention at precisely the time I perceive that they need it the most.
email originally written January 31, 2002
Yesterday was one of those days I hope that I will always remember because it was full of simple pleasures and it felt good to be alive. I was able to run with (my dog) Mikayla before daylight. The children were ready for school on time, and while we waited for the bus, our new refrigerator for the basement arrived. I could finally imagine making only one trip to the grocery store each week because I now have a place to store extra gallons of milk, yogurt, and fresh vegetables.
After I dropped Journey off at preschool and watched her run into the arms of her teacher, I had time to go to the grocery store all by myself. Then I went to The Giving Tree and signed a new contract so that I can do more home studies. My first will be an update for a young family with a child just younger than Journey who want to adopt a second child. I did their original home study, and it was a pleasure.
It was an unseasonably warm, sunny January day. After I picked up Journey, we played in the backyard and sat on the swing in the gazebo, eating slices of orange and apple. At 1 p.m., a wonderful friend, who I had not seen in awhile, arrived for a visit. She toured our new home for the first time and reminded me how much I love this house.
At 3:30, I was sitting on our porch in a rocking chair basking in the sun, waiting for Emily, K.J., and Skye to descend from the bus that would stop at the end of our driveway. Once they arrived home, we made chocolate chip muffins together. It was a messy, sticky project, but everyone cooperated in the pouring and mixing and licking the bowl. Emily’s middle-school-age tutor, Kaitlyn, arrived and they sat in our solarium working on math and language arts while Skye, K.J., and Journey found inside and outside games to play.
At 5 p.m., K.J. announced that he needed friends. Once I dialed the number, he was able to get on the phone and talk to his friends’ mother, politely asking if the boys could come over. In a few minutes, we had seven children in and out of the house — Emily’s friend from down the street came over to play too — playing with each other and all those toys that John and I usually curse, saying, “Why do we have this?! Nobody ever plays with it.” I was even able to make dinner without too much “help” from Journey.
It’s simple stuff. It’s good stuff. I’m grateful for days like these.