Ten minutes at the park, pizza, and sliding in the rain

I had an epiphany tonight. Well, more like yesterday, since it’s already tomorrow.

My husband went out to dinner with his very close friend, one he’s not eager to leave. So it was girls’ night in, just me, K, and Q, alone at home.

When I picked them up from daycare, I told them we would go to the park when we got home, but when I got home, all I really wanted to do was nothing, but K is at that age where if you say you’re going to do something, you’d BETTER do it, and I hate disappointing her, so as soon as we got home, I changed into shorts and a better pair of shoes and we went to the park, K walking and Q strapped to my back.

We didn’t stay longer than ten minutes, but it was amazing. The other kids there, along with my own, laughed and played, running up the stairs, sliding down slides, swinging on swings. When we went home, I made a quick pizza in the microwave for them to share, which K was excited to eat until she saw it and informed me that “we (she and Q, who was as usual, eating voraciously) don’t like it.”

As soon as enough time to eat had passed, I allowed them out of their temporary confinements – their chairs – and they played with a few toys until it started to rain so hard we couldn’t ignore it, so we went outside, onto the couch on the back patio, to watch it. I don’t know what happened there – it had to be more than just condensation falling from the sky – but there were so many moments then that I felt more than alive – I was soaring, with them. We were experiencing multiple sensations together out there on that couch. Q held tight to me when at first she saw the rain, but as she acclimated, she began to jump on the couch, reach out to touch the rain, watch it fall into puddles on the back lawn. She was overjoyed, and fell on the couch into the pillows, barely able to catch her breath from laughing so hard. K, similarly, reached out to the rain. On the couch, we felt it hit our cheeks and dampen the couch cushions ever so lightly, and Q fluttered her eyelashes.

Soon enough, as always happens when we spend any time outside, K asked to play with the “sand dunes,” the tiny sandpit table; I said no for that one, but undaunted, she asked permission to slide on the small (not even two feet high) slide structure on the uncovered portion of the patio. She and Q both slid, Q more enthusiastically than K, but they both got covered in rain, from their heads to their toes, and it was wonderful.

They both went to bed so much easier than normal, maybe because they felt refreshed, energized, renewed. I felt the same. I wanted to live those ten-minute periods over and over again, share those experiences with everyone. I wanted to twirl in my convent dress on the top of an Austrian mountain. As I recounted the stories to my husband, I told him how excited I am to start a new, slower lifestyle, and to spend more quality time with our precious kids; they won’t be this age forever, and I want to savor it as much as I can. I want to make crafts and baked goods. I want to go to new places and do cheap, quick, easy things – things that don’t have to cost anything, but things that make memories worth remembering. Things that they’ll forget the specifics of, but they won’t forget the associated feelings. I love that.

“When was the last time you said ‘wahoo’?” -Tim Robbins, I.Q. (Don’t you love that movie?)

What makes you excited?

Tell me something you’re looking forward to in the next week, month, or year.

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