Monday, October 3, 2011

Tonight Is Golden

After a whirlwind of a month it is an absolute treasure to be at home for a leisurely evening. My life has never been so jammed packed full, well beyond capacity, as during these past four weeks. Every single second of the day was spoken for, there was literally not a moment to spare, and if there was, I was using it to gain some eensy, teensy ounce of energy back into my weary bones. From 6 in the morning till anywhere between 9-11 at night my beloved minutes were occupied.

On top of all my normal duties as mother of three and household executive, I was swamped with the kids school work (this already takes about an hour a day and they’re in 2nd grade and Kindergarten! Sheesh!), school activities (volunteering in the two classrooms as well as evening engagements for the parents), sports practice for two boys (twice a week), sports games for both boys (which now take up our entire day on Saturday), soccer games for my husband who plays twice a week (super duper sadly, I am out of commission until about January due to an ankle injury. I’m feeling rather sorry for myself.), a weekend soccer tournament out of town, and the overwhelming task of running a sports league for the first time. This undertaking alone has consumed countless hours of my life recently.

I thoroughly enjoy every item I just listed. In fact, I freely volunteered myself (and my family) for each and every one of them. But the magnitude in which I have been involved lately has significantly increased, thereby depriving me of any time leftover. The main source of all this extra work has been, without question, the sports league my husband and I are now a part of. We love it. It is definitely a joy to be involved with the club and we are glad to do it. But we didn’t necessarily ease ourselves into the process. We weren’t given an orientation or a person to shadow on the job, or anything of the sort. We dove in entirely, way, way into the deep end of the pool, blindfolded and holding weights. To say we hit the ground running is an understatement, we hit the ground speeding at a full sprint, with a propeller pushing us forward, and a strong wind at our back. There was no easing about it. We’ve stumbled our way through by acting in the moment, asking a billion questions, and refusing to give up. It’s been fun, educational, exhilarating, confusing, frustrating, exhausting, time consuming, rewarding, challenging, but absolutely worthwhile. Like I said, we love it. And I’m convinced it can only get better, now that our trial by fire is over. (and we only have some minor burns to show for it!).

So, all that to say…. It’s been four weeks and we finally have a night at home where we aren’t rushing off to some place or other, or where my husband and I aren’t drained entirely of our will to live. It’s a normal, easy going, average evening at our house. I am in heaven.

From the kitchen I watch my kids dance around the living room as I prepare dinner. So far they’ve busted their moves to LMFAO, Queen, AC/DC, Saliva (yes, these are all songs from my husband’s ipod) and a few others I don’t know the names of. The fact that I’m cooking dinner at 5:30 so we can eat at 6:00ish is a miracle in and of itself, since most of our meals have been at the early-bird-special time of 4:30pm (no joke… I know, so sad), or 7:30pm (the time we usually begin our bedtime routine).

We sit to the table at 6:05pm, the kids are nice and tired after their dance party workout, and I dish up the plates. We linger. Ahhh, we linger. No rushing, no leaving half-eaten plates on the table to clean up later, no yelling (ahem! I mean, strongly encouraging) at the kids to hurry-up-and-eat-for-the-one- hundredth-time-because-we-have-got-to-leave-and-I’m-not-kidding! Just a relaxed meal with smiles and giggles and story-telling and sharing. No one cares that it’s been 30 minutes and the boys have yet to touch their asparagus. Heck, we could wait here all night, we actually have the time! Well, the boys do eat their asparagus, every last bite (they like it), they were just busy telling us joke after joke after joke. And we listened to each one, pretend laughing at every punch line (I mean really, they don’t even make sense), but fully relishing the quality family time we’ve missed out on.

After dinner I actually get to snuggle up on the couch with my daughter who’s been waiting patiently all day to watch a movie. We pop in the DVD and half-watch, half play silly games. It’s beautiful.

The kids are now in bed snoozing peacefully. As I sit at my desk with a hot cup of soothing coffee and reflect on the experience I’ve just had I realize that tonight has been one of the most precious nights of my life because I was able to enjoy the simplicity of it all. I was able to take in my surroundings completely in the moment, to truly connect with my kids and just soak it all in. No craziness, no looking at the clock in despair, no flying out the door at lightning speed, no sitting at the computer answering email after email, or hushing the kids so I can talk business on the phone. Tonight was just about us. Tonight is golden.