Sunday, March 18, 2012

Give Me a Break

Spring break started for us last Friday after school, and since it's been ultra-unseasonably warm for a week or so already (read: sunny and in the 60s and 70s), it really does feel like spring. Usually during the kids' spring break it's gray, cold, and snowy or sleeting. There is always snow on the ground. Except this year.

We kicked off spring break by heading over to my friend Kathy's house as soon as the kids got off the school bus on Friday. She's got this great house with a big, dark-hued driveway (perfect for sidewalk chalking) and a backyard to die for (playset, playhouse, sandbox) on a quiet street (perfect for biking, triking, and scootering with no fear of cars). Our combined five girls ran around chalking, biking, flying kites, blowing bubbles, swinging, and climbing the playset in the sun and wind and 77-degree air, and it was just heaven. Parenting life is so like that. The lows are so challenging and disagreeable, yet the highs--which must often look inconsequential to non-parents, just playing outside in good weather, after all--are extraordinary. There just aren't words to describe the contentment and joy that come from moments like Friday afternoon.

Yesterday Julia and Genevieve each had one of their best friends over, and we did a special Girls' Movie Night/pizza dinner playdate (Christopher escaped for a three-hour bike ride). I made popcorn and pizza and served green accompaniments in honor of St. Patrick's Day (grapes, cucumber slices, green-tinted milk, mint chip ice cream for dessert), and the girls played and then watched a Barbie movie in their pajamas. As soon as the movie ended they ran outside in their nightgowns and played the plot of the movie in the backyard until the sun went down and my friends came to pick up their daughters. I sat by the open windows and watched them dancing and leaping all over the yard and the hill and under the trees, enthusiastically acting out "The 12 Dancing Princesses" in full view of all the neighbors and anyone driving by on the county road, so wonderfully un-self-consciously. I just wished they could stay that way forever.

Those kinds of moments are what make the interrupted sleep and the epic meltdowns and the wet sheets of motherhood worth it. But it's the latter things that make me too tired to write anything more than this today, despite a brim-full life and no end of material. We're off on a little road trip to the best playground in southern Minnesota later, and Dairy Queen after that, and I need to ingest a lot of coffee right now. Surely you fellow parents understand.

1 comment:

Angel said...

Oohhh, now I have playground envy! I think we are going to go find a new one today too (even though Dave and I are exhausted as well). Enjoy the weather!