Today wasn't a really outwardly "successful" day for us. There was the incident with a renegade, saucy, wallet-stealing 3 year old on the loose at the ice skating rink. Sisterly love wasn't all that apparent during playtime either before or after ice skating. A very tired mommy pretty much let the girls entertain themselves, and the general excitement of watching tree stumps get ground-up and a quick visit from granddad took the place of "structured" learning. Thankfully a free performance of "Rumpelstiltskin" filled up an hour or so of the late afternoon and did provide a lot of laughs and a chance to see friends. But too many grumpy and tired moments, and there was a messy house and NO dinner when daddy came home...
But somehow we made it through the evening. We all pitched in to pick up the worst of the mess, kids got fed, husband fended for himself, and I retreated upstairs to work on my Bible study lesson. I had some peace while the girls enjoyed some daddy story time. I was disturbed at one point by a scratching at the door, which I first thought was the cat but the chubby fingers poking underneath were a clue that a certain 3 year old was missing me.
Our bedtime routines seem to be set in stone until they don't work, and then we bend a little. We have been bending them more to accommodate a certain 6 year old who is having a hard time settling down to sleep and likes to look at books in the dark and have lots of "Daddy check on me" moments. The youngest usually falls asleep best with my help. But tonight the oldest one needed me, and the youngest accepted daddy cuddles to fall asleep.
I sat on the bed with my 6 year old, who requested I read her a couple of her favorite familiar "Babybug" magazines. "Mommy is Kim a girl or a boy? Why does she have short hair?" I have so often read these books to her, memories go along with the reading. The time I read a Babybug and sobbed because I wasn't as cheerful as the mommy in the story. The time I let her hold a Babybug in the bookstore and then I had to buy it because she chewed the corner off. The stories are so easy and familiar, she can read them too, but it is better if I read them.
Then she wants to look at her purple scrapbook, made especially for her for her fourth birthday by her Aunt Shanna. She can read a lot of the journaling in that now, too. "This page says 'Welcome Gwen'!" We talk about how she used to be a baby too. And when she wore diapers. And when she stopped. She says she remembers her third Christmas, the one before we moved here. The pictures are of our house, but with Granddaddy's furniture. She remembers the state fair, when Uncle Rick and Aunt Shanna went with us. "We are glad you live near us now, so we can see you a lot more," she reads. "But now she lives over the ocean!" "Yes, but I know you are still special to them." We plot about making cards and sending a package... "We should probably send more hot chocolate, I'm sure they are all out by now."
Some days seem dismal and ugly until I stop and think about the little precious stones I can dig out of the muck. We "had our moments" today, you could say... and I am thankful for that.