Photo: I love how expressive Ursa Major is when he speaks. He’s great at giving you a full narrative of what he is thinking about and why. He’s also happy to explain to you what other people are thinking and why. Three is hard. It’s hard for him, it’s hard for me. But we’re getting it together…
I have been exposed to this virus for 7 whole days now, reader, and it would seem that I am going to walk away from it. The boys are absolutely better, their little bumps scabbing over and falling away. The Husband, unfortunately, is still suffering. He got the rash… blotchy bumps on his hands and wrists and feet. And they hurt. He can’t really walk… and last night, he complained of itching so bad that it kept him up. Which means we were both up. Every hour on the hour, I was awakened by flipping and flopping on the otherside of the bed…
It has been a hard week. A reminder that motherhood and womanhood are sometimes a labor of love. I’m exhausted, having kept this house in working order, children entertained, and husband as comfortable as I can under the circumstance… it isn’t pretty. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t graceful, either. But we’re here. We made it.
I was reminded, though, that there are awesome moments during weeks like this. You see, despite it all, we’ve kept to schedule, and we’ve kept working on Camp Mama tasks, including potty training. And Ursa Major had a very successful week! And yesterday, having used the potty successfully three times, he earned himself a bowl of ice cream after dinner.
The boys aren’t really into sweets–not because I don’t let them eat them, but simply because they are picky. The aversion to ice cream had been about temperature before, but suddenly, both of them are excited about it again. So when I bought some for The Husband to help with his sore throat, of course, Ursa Major wanted some too! I didn’t actually think that he was going to eat it.
He was so excited about it, he ate it with his hands.
Seriously. Little fingers gingerly grabbing for globs of ice cream, placing in it his mouth with happy giggles and wiggles in his seat. He was so focused on the joy of it, his eyes never left the bowl. It was just him and this preciously awesome substance, and he didn’t stop until he got to the bottom. Then he looked up, directly at me, pointing to the bowl: “I think…I think there is some ice cream soup down there…”
I laughed a little. “In a sense, yes, I suppose…”
He grinned. Looked at it in contemplation. Put his hand on the spoon he’d so quickly discarded in the beginning of this process but quickly thought better of it. His brain came to the solution to his problem. He took both hands, placed them on the bowl, lifted it to his lips, and drank the rest of the ice cream. There was only a moment’s disruption when he stopped to sheepishly look at me for disapproval but I was just too happy to watch it. There was no way I was going to deny him this opportunity. So he just went back to it. Until it was gone. And then he set it down, smiling down at it. But you could see his brain working. His face told you the entire narrative: “I really like that. That was delicious.” then “I wonder if there is any more that I can get out of that.” then “Oh no. No, there isn’t anymore.”
So his lifted his head, refocused on me.
“Can I have more ice cream, please? I really want some more ice cream.” The batting of those pretty little eye lashes and the brightest little smile he could muster followed.
And I, warmly, happily, told him he could have more tomorrow.
And while he wasn’t excited about not having more right then, he didn’t put up too much of a fight. The prospect of more in the near future was good enough.
I tell this tale because it was a moment that I could have very easily missed. I had a lot to do–The Husband couldn’t walk, so he couldn’t take up his usual chore of cleaning the kitchen, and so I needed to pick up that slack. Ursa Minor was whining about this that or other, so I could have gone to chase him and see what the matter was. Instead, because I was just so tired from a full day of serving people, I’d elected to sit and watch, and I was rewarded with a sincerely joyous moment.
Motherhood is a labor of love. So is marriage. So is womanhood in general. There are weeks that are easy, breezy, beautiful, smart and sophisticated, brilliant and graceful. And then there are weeks like this one. Just full of the stuff you absolutely have to do, with few breaks, and fewer pleasant moments. But, in the tired moments, when you are sleepwalking through the tasks and yearning for your moment to breathe free, if you can manage to keep your eyes open, amazing things happen. Joyous things happen.
I’m behind on my knitting, my piece isn’t edited like I thought it would be, and my writing group fell apart. Long story. But you know what, reader? It’s Friday. I made it. You made it. Congratulations.
And on this first Friday in August, the start of our waning Summer Fridays, I wish you a thunderstorm and rain. But only after your evening activities are over. The kind that make you want to curl up next to your favorite person and listen and remember that we’re small things in a fairly awesome world. I wish you succulent stone fruit or fresh and excellent seafood. I wish you cold beer or lemonade, grilled fajitas or a big medium-rare (bone-in) ribeye. I wish you a game of chess with someone better than you, or checkers with a younger someone who is eager to learn. I wish you a deep and unexpected conversation, a new piece of wisdom to help you grow. I wish you a lucky break, a powerful decision, and moment to stand upon your own two feet as an autonomous being, capable and competent. I wish you the powerful knowledge of knowing that you are loved, appreciated and admired, even if you tell yourself you aren’t. And joy and warmth. Because you deserve it.
Until Monday, take care.