It’s about midnight on Saturday.
I didn’t always write at this time of day, but it’s pretty standard now. My life seems to crowd out my solo endeavors until at least this time many days. That’s life with little kids. At least that’s my life with little kids. Constantly doing. Busy cleaning. always something. It’s not a complaint, at least not most of the time. Its just what it is.
This weekend was Teddy’s third birthday party. Before having kids you have no idea how a third birthday party, which formally lasts from 11-3(ish) or so could possibly be an all day affair, but it is. It so is for us. Partly because we’re not the neatest or most organized bunch and partly because it just is. We had one set of grandparents, some cousins, two aunts and an uncle, which may not sound like a ton but in our tiny house it’s plenty. I can’t tell you how great it is having all of them there. Having time to spend with them and having time to see our kids becoming part of the larger family.
Tomorrow is our seven year anniversary and we’re getting a sitter! This is a red letter day for us and we are so excited to be going out. In the meantime you have no idea how much work it is preparing your tiny home-for-toddlers for a babysitter on a weekend day. Honestly, it looks like a frat house here by the time we get to lunch on a typical day at home. Not to mention the laundry a day like today got us behind on. Mommy and Daddy both work, both have to and Saturday is laundry day. All of us need a weeks worth of clothes ready by bedtime Sunday. Then we have to extract from the fridge that which might make us lose our awesome, though not nearly utilized enough babysitter. I blame her, but she’d never be freaked out by it, but it’s just common decency and we’ll try our hardest to make it nice for her.
Next is Teddy’s actual birthday on Monday, so we have to bake cupcakes for his classmates. Then next weekend, on Halloween we’re going to travel to my sister for her birthday and a visit with more cousins in Connecticut. They are wonderful people that we love and haven’t seen in too long. My parents will be there as well and it’s going to be great. And we’ll be sure to get back in time to receive trick or treater’s and to bring our own kids around.
Between then and now we’ll make and pack lunches, wake and put to bed, feed and bathe and comfort and discipline. We will play and read books and do costumes and watch favorite shows and change clothes and mediate arguments. We will say yes and no and no and no.
We’ll also receive a lifetime’s worth of ‘adorable’ and ‘cherubic.’ A decades worth of mischievous. We’ll stop disasters and cause smaller ones. We’ll argue and forgive and kiss and shout. We’ll laugh. A ton. We’ll drink more coffee and less water than is advisable.
Life is pretty full these days. All of these things will take place while we do our damnedest to maintain and even thrive in our full time jobs. The temptation, the one I give in to far too often is to stop seeing the whole thing for what it is and picking apart the individual tasks and finding in them frustration. It’s unavoidable I suppose. This time of life, the middle part, is incredibly taxing. There’s no end to doing and from time to time it all becomes too much. So we slide. Back to feeling overwhelmed and unappreciative. It’s understandable and forgivable to be sure.
But I have to take a minute here because something has occurred to me. I’m at the top of the bell curve. I’m at the fullest my life will ever be. There’s more work to be done than there ever has been and perhaps than there ever will be in this 10 year frame I’m in right now. Furthermore, I’m still looking at all of the people that will have meant the most to me when I cash it all in. All of the people who will play primary roles in my life when my story is over are all still with me. Still loving me. Still loved by me. Some have been here a long time and some have just shown up and what they represent is the universe of my life. And they are all here. All now.
It wasn’t always thus and it won’t always be thus. It’s the most amazingly full and wonderful time of my life and in the midst of all the noise I owe it to myself and to all those in my life to see it, to appreciate it, to be fully thankful for it while fully immersed in it. Which I am. I’m so incredibly thankful to have this roster, this cast of characters populating the story of my life. Each and everyone of them making life what it is for me.