Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gummi Bears and Gratitude

Today was one of those rare, precious days.

A perfect parenting day.

Well, more like a perfect kid day, with me as the grateful beneficiary.

It started with both children sleeping "in" (which means past 7 a.m.), and then quietly sneaking into our bed for a snuggle. No barging in, no elbow in the stomach, no loud demands for breakfast or a viewing of "Doc McStuffins". Just a good ten minutes of peaceful snuggling.

After breakfast, Teege suggested that he and Kelly ride their scooters to the playground. Said scooters, bought just in time for the spring, have been used approximately 5.5 times by each child this summer. Part of this is due to our very hilly street; part is due to parental laziness; part is due to children's reliable rejection of anything fun and slightly expensive that you buy for them. So I was thrilled by the suggestion. Of course, it was on a day when we had a doctor's appointment that cut right into fun time, so we wound up just driving. But still, his intention was welcome.

I brought along a coffee mug, foolishly optimistic that I'd be able to sip peacefully whilst the children played. Not to be...but that was okay, because their requests have become, I'm realizing, quickly approaching an expiration date. I'll happily hoist Kelly into the baby swing...because her feet are starting to almost touch the ground. Of course I'll go down the slide with Teege...because it's almost like carrying him, which he never needs anymore.

A few other kids showed up, and I observed as my own cheerfully welcomed them into their play. TJ ran the introductions, always proudly presenting "my sister Kelly who is three," and I just sat back and watched as they navigated the waters of social interaction. A few friends have recently likened becoming a parent to watching your heart leave your body...and I totally get it. You can't help but burst with pride when your offspring do the right thing, or feel their pain just as deeply when they are rejected or disappointed. Luckily, today their friendliness and kindness paid off. My heart sang.

We then had to hit Home Depot for a few things, and Kelly surprised both of us by quietly entertaining herself while we checked out granite countertops. No climbing out of the cart, no knocking off a row of samples in one fell swoop. She even charmed our cranky salesperson by suggesting that one granite sample "looked like the outer space sky!"

I had promised the kids that they could finally spend their summer piggy bank savings on a trip to Five Below. I told them exactly how much money they had and what they could spend Both kids walked--WALKED--up and down the aisles, together, carefully considering their options, said please and thank you to the cashier, and carried their bags themselves. No whining for more stuff; no running or pulling crap out of bins.

During Kelly's naptime, TJ opened up his purchase (a set of Bey Blades), and invited me to "do a battle" with him. I put him off as I went about folding laundry and answering emails, but when he invited me again--sweetly, hopefully, without a trace of whining--I had to relent. We spent the rest of the afternoon playing Bey Blades, a long-forgotten Matchbox racetrack, and testing out paper airplanes. This is kind of a big deal. As first grade is approaching, he is primarily into his daddy these days. Cuddles on the couch with Mommy are becoming a distant memory. So spending some one-on-one QT with my little guy--at his invitation--was priceless.

He helped me prune his overgrown pumpkin vine (which is taking over our entire front walkway--all from one seed planted months ago), but soon disappeared. When I looked up, he was proffering a handful of gummy bears. "For your hard work, Mommy," he affirmed. "I picked one of each color because I wasn't sure which was your favorite."

After he and Daddy left for their camping trip, it was time for "ladygirl night" with Bells. We had dinner on the deck, chatting about preschool and how excited she was to see her friends and teachers. After changing into our pj's, we snuggled up together to watch "Tangled."

As I put my sweet girl to bed tonight, and then chatted with my superdude on the phone, I couldn't help thinking...perfect day. One of those days you don't necessarily see coming, didn't plan for, and hope it's not fleeting. And when it keeps on going, and going, and surprising you incessantly...well, you need to document it as soon as possible.

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