Today is Memorial Day.
The house is a mess. The kids are still in their pajamas. They’re watching videos on YouTube, which I have to disconnect from my social media accounts so that the auto-tweets stop going out looking like this:
They’re happy, though. To play video games they have to do chores around the house to earn the minutes. The state of the disarray is an indication that after 3 days off of school, they’re finally bored with Super Mario Bros.
We’ve been going to bed late and waking up late. Playing with toys, reading, snuggling, venturing out for the occasional excursion. We had an exploded toilet, house guests, and a yard sale. I made pizza. I cleaned out the garage. I read Hamlet, the graphic novel version. We watched Ratatouille for the thousandth time.
Brady lost his first tooth and got his first visit from the tooth fairy. Her gift – a $1 gold coin. “I’m rich!” he exclaimed the next morning.
Stewart went to visit his mother in Louisiana and returned with a pirate’s booty of a million Mardi Gras beads. The children danced around like Zulu warriors before a battle, adorned with a pile of beads each.
Today is when we prepare for the last few weeks of “normal” schedule – school and work, routines, early waking times. I am off to my 20th college reunion at Notre Dame this week, so it won’t even really be normal for the boys with Dad in charge.
It’s the lazy, unscheduled days that bring us closer as a family. There’s a lot of togetherness involved. Striking a balance between too much of each other and just enough is the challenge. With our annual 3 weeks in CT at the beginning of the summer, that lazy interlude between school years won’t really happen for us until late July.
Instead of dreading it because I’ll have to find things for the children to do, this year I look forward to it. The kids are showing me how fast they are growing up. Brady’s lost tooth, even this late at age 6, stopped me in my tracks. Kyle can have an actual conversation with me about things like books and the nature of God and personal hygiene.
I’m preparing accordingly. The advent of first grade for Brady means both boys will be in school until 2pm. There will be time for more then, so I’m shedding as much of it as I can now. I’m also lowering my expectations and looking at more things with a child’s eye. Enjoying my little boys while they’re still little boys – that’s what I need to do.
Happy Memorial Day.
How did one turn into the other?
The only ways I know how to make this happen are:
-hire a cleaning lady (or man, once or twice I hired a cleaning man)
-put all pieces into zip top bags and spray ammonia in there. Seal and let sit overnight, then wash and scrub as usual. I do it exactly the same way that this blogger blogged (using the exact same non-brand of ammonia, too) and it works like a dream. Except for the whole inhaling ammonia fumes part. That is something you should, um…avoid. As in, not do.
-move the tea kettle