Tonight was not the easiest of nights. Daryl and the girls had "media night" for the play they are in. They have practice every weeknight and tonight they left early in full costume to rehearse act one and meet the press. As with the rest of June, I was on my own with two little boys (one of whom can drive me to distraction!).
It was a long night. Alex found the litter box and the scoop and left a trail down the hallway carpet and all the way down the stairs. He dumped things out. He wrote on Daddy’s new recliner with blue marker. He accidentally scratched Jack. He threw fits.
There are some nights when it takes all you’ve got to make it to bedtime, and tonight was one of those nights.
I got him cleaned up, the recliner cleaned up, the hallway and stairs cleaned up, and got him acting better and asleep. I even got a bunch of enthusiastic toddler hugs and kisses before he dropped. The rest of the house was trashed but it was a success in my book.
When the girls came home, we ended up having an impromptu music history lesson when I had Victoria look up "We are the World" on you-tube and talked about how Michael Jackson shaped his generation. Then I was still wired from the evening and asked Anna if she wanted to go for a walk.
My kids love taking late night walks. I’m not sure what it is about walking with Mama under the stars, but it has always been a treat to my kids.
Anna was still in her prairie girl costume, bonnet and all. We held hands and walked around the neighborhood, talking. I told her how I held her in my lap when she was a baby on the front lawn in the moonlight and made her promises. She walked me to the magical cornfield and told me to make a wish for the fairies. She also told me how so-and-so texted her boyfriend at rehearsal about the bench the kids were using. She said she felt lucky she got to take late night walks with me. I told her sappy memories and gave her hugs.
When we got back, I asked her to send Victoria out. I’m glad Victoria is not too old to take late night walks with her mama. I showed her my bulletproof roses that the neighbor thought were "brambles" and mowed down for years. They grew in full shade on the north side of the house for years before we moved in and loved them into full bloom. I told her how our back yard used to be nothing but grass, and how we bought 5 tiny lilac trees and 2 dogwoods to line the back and now they’re twice as tall as we are. The gardens, the climbing tree, the raspberries, the roses taller than the garage… it’s all new since the house became ours and now it seems like it’s been there forever.
We went walking off down the side streets and I told her how we went walking on a night like this when she was a baby with my friend Jen and her daughter, Lizzie, and how we stopped in the moonlight for me to bend down and talk to her in the stroller. I was being sappy and adoring her, and Lizzie turned to her mother and said in her most reverent five year-old voice, "That’s love."
I told her again about how many miscarriages I had before we had her, and how Daddy and I used to fight over who got to hold her. I told her how much we loved her and how proud we’ve been every day of her life.
When we got home, Jack snuggled up in my lap while we watched late night TV and he fell asleep while I stroked his hair. We never got to the books I meant to read tonight or the art project I kept wanting to do. I hope the snuggling and the extra orange juice popsicles made up for it a little.
It’s the end of the night now, and it’s miserably hot inside. We don’t have central air, just a window unit downstairs. I’m hot and tired and there’s still more mess to clean up in the morning. Tomorrow, Alex will wake in a fantastic mood and commence trying to drive us all crazy again.
It was a trying night. There were messes and tears and mayhem. There’s no denying it. But what I’m taking to bed with me tonight is the kisses, the snuggling, walking hand in hand with my daughters and making wishes by magical cornfields.
The rest will still drive me to distraction, but I still think it’s worth it.
Goodnight all. Happy Friday!