It was a usual day, as days go around here. Some laundry happened. Kids played, cried, yelled, and fought. The weather was lovely then rainy then just plain ‘ol hot. We ran errands to get out (it was the little extrovert’s request). Some melted down before our destination (that would the little introvert). But we made it.
Baby to bed. Big kids hanging. Mom trying to watch the Olympics and answer questions and failing at both. But there’s tomorrow on the horizon, and we’ll give it all another go.
I think about the rhythm of our days a lot. I wonder if there is enough structure, enough steady on, enough happy moments to counteract the tears. I suppose it’s normal for parents to want to write the narrative of their children’s early years, to want to make sure some golden memories make it into the banks. But most days don’t feel so golden; they just feel ordinary. And I think that’s ok.
It’s a funny tension, the balance between “Every day matters- make it count!” and “There will be another day- so just chill out!” I run the spectrum between the two- shooting for the former but consoling myself with the latter.
Yes, today matters. But that should give it worth, not pressure. It matters. But it isn’t all that matters. We are loved beyond today, before today, in spite of today. That’s a comfort when the day wasn’t quite what you had hoped.
We went to Arby’s tonight, just me and the kids. At some point in the meal, Tessa had us all laughing so hard with her crazy facial expressions. She, at the age of 5, has a rare gift for humor that flourishes in small groups but dies out in crowds. She loves to entertain our little circle; she cries when all heads in a crowded room turn to look at her. She’s in an interesting transition of pushing out of preschool stuff and finding her way as a full-fledged kid. She’s not the littlest; hasn’t been since the baby came on the scene. But for awhile she was still one of the littles, but now she seems to be shedding that label and pushing into her own. With her jokes. Her songs. Her quips. She has a fierceness to her that catches us off guard, even as her eyes twinkle.
Can she know that she’s in a transition? Does she sense that she is moving up in our eyes? Is her own growth something that she’s aware of? I don’t know.
But changes like that mark the days, drop a small memorial in time. It was a regular day but the kids had unique moments. It was a ho-hum time overall, but there were flashes of new that peeked out of the normal things. Amidst the steady on, there is remarkable movement in the underneath of us all, calling us up and on to live these every days well.