Life outside is dreadfully gray and soggy and a bone-chilling cold. What snow remains on the ground is edged in soot and the shine on our cars is dulled by salt. Everyone's recovered from the Christmas Rush only to face trudging through the days, Spring Break a mirage on the horizon. For us and for our children, each day blends into the next - a blur of activities, patchwork dinners, homework, alarms that go off too early and buses that come in the dark.
Mackenzie finally finished out her swim season, exhausted but happy to have swam and now she returns to concentrating on her grades which have been somewhat neglected since Christmas.
Joe is knee-deep in Show Choir Competitions, practicing during the week and traveling each weekend, somehow dipping ice cream in between.
Dillon is still loitering around, attending EMT class and trying to find his new niche in life and manage without license nor vehicle.
Alex has had a hard month, be it a reaction to his medication, puberty, or his own form of Cabin Fever that's causing his erratic behavior. He's been disagreeable and combative nearly every night in recent memory and it's exhausting for those who care for him.
Sometimes I find myself wishing time away. Thinking, "If we can just make through the next 4 months then Dillon will get his license back."
"If we can just get through this year then Joe's meets and competitions will be off the calendar."
"If we can just make it through next year, then Mackenzie can drive herself around."
"If we can just make it through puberty with Alex, then Life can return to peaceful."
"If we can just get through the next 6 years, then all the kids should all be out of the house and Tim and I can finally settle down."
And then tonight Dillon came upstairs to talk to me. Mac was downstairs studying, Alex in bed, Joe at school, and Tim at the firehouse. I was sitting alone on the couch, TV off, computer on my lap, red wine within reach, having just been purposefully urinated on by Alex in retaliation for making him bathe. Dillon had clearly come topside to check on me and we chatted for a few minutes before he said, "There's been a lot of tension in the house lately." He wasn't making a judgment, not placing blame, just noting his observation. My immediate response was to apologize and then the phone rang, Tim checking in one last time before bed. Dillon waited until I was off the phone and talked with me a few minutes more, then kissed me and went to bed. I sat there a moment, thinking what a wise and insightful young man he is. Whether or not he meant to, this Man-Child I raised while raising myself reminded me to Enjoy the Small Things.
So before I sleep tonight, I'll simply Enjoy these Small Things:
- the bottle of water Phyllis brought me today when she heard me say at work that my Peace Lily was thirsty
- new sneakers
- Joe, coming to check on me tonight after hearing about the evening
- writing a post
- the piles of folded laundry on the table (thank you, Dillon!)
- Alex, being a sweetheart at JoAnn's Fabrics tonight
- Babycat's meow
- my pants fitting better
- the new treadmill that's on it's way
- Mackenzie's magical ability to calm Alex down during a meltdown
- the fire in the fireplace
- a husband who makes me laugh
- and last but not least, 2 doggies keeping me company on my big empty bed