that means the house is a wreck. joel is wandering around eating a cranberry muffin, dropping crumbs everywhere while drawing on the floor with chalk. and i couldn’t care less. birthdays are times of contemplation, after all. no one can do much deep thinking while micro managing small incompetent people. so i won’t, as much as i can avoid it today.
all i really want for my birthday is nice weather so i can take the kids to the park. that and a few moments to appreciate…myself. i will find little ways today to show myself how much i care. a second cup of tea? don’t mind if i will. my favorite underwears and sweatshirt? why, thank you, self. a moment to write a blog post? surely. it’s the little things after all, that let myself know that i really appreciate all that i do, all that i am.
i have the car today. i’m thinking of taking the kids and i out for arabic food (to the drive thru, of course). you simply cannot beat drive thru chicken shwarma. can’t. perhaps a movie later? we’ll see. after the kids are in bed. maybe it’ll be a double feature.
i’m really just reeling in a post-camping trip haze, to tell you the truth. we just took our, what is becoming, annual fall trip to the warren dunes state park camping grounds. anyone who travels and camps with kids knows how glorious and tiring a trip like that is. glorious because you break the monotony of your every day living situation together and are often able to connect in ways that seem difficult at home. tiring because kids don’t generally travel well. about twenty minutes into our four hour drive and ruth was already impatient. there were a lot of tears the first night. the kids were upset too. many times, we simply ran out of patience with each other. like the time i tried to race ruth back to the campsite and she instead lied down in the middle of the road and refused to get up. or the time i needed a break from everybody and told ruth she had to go with her dad to watch the sunset and she screamed so loud and cried so hard that everyone in the entire campsite could hear. this is the stuff of family camping trips.
then there is all the good shit, shit that is worth all the shitty shit. like when ruth went up the giant dune under her own power twice. the second time down, i was already at the bottom with her sleeping brother in the sand and i looked up to see the tiny figure of my four-year-old bounding down the dune alone. i could see greg, further up at the top, scrambling around looking for her, asking people if they had seen her. meanwhile, ruth pranced down as graceful as a deer. my heart swelled with affection and admiration for my head-strong willful daughter.
there are all of the campfires we were able to sit through together, looking up at a sky full of stars like we never get in the city. all of the quiet moments around our cabin, playing ball, frisbee, just hanging out together, joel playing with his truck around the rim of the fire pit, ruth talking everyone’s ear off about this or that,greg and i bustling about doing camp type chores. the kind of distraction-less peace that seems so hard to find at home. eating out of a giant pot of communal oatmeal for breakfast. camp coffee. the good life.
we were even able to begin to conceptualize our family mission statement,something we,of late, feel a deep desire to articulate.
well, this has been nice, but i really must go. i hear joel crunching on the dog’s food in the kitchen.