It is Friday afternoon. I'm sitting in my library with the door closed, taking turns folding laundry and drinking my coffee. I closed the door to keep the sock stealing dog and the laundry unfolding tornado, Grace, out of my way. The muffled chaos is just a bonus.
It was supposed to be a rainy/snowy day but as I sip my coffee I glance out the window and see the afternoon sun beaming off the driveway in long streams of yellow. Thank God it did not snow again. I don't think I could take that today.
Today was a tough day. Feeling somewhat confident I dragged my two youngest with me to Target so I could try on swim suits. My confidence did not last long. Knowing I am close to my goal weight gave me undeserved swagger. The same goal weight that used to look great on me now looks lumpy, and flat, and pale, and mushy, and just wrong. Apparently, the weight distribution center goes wonky after a certain age. Or maybe it is after a certain number of children. Either way, nothing is where it should be. I ran a total of 70 miles last month and this is the result? It has made me a bit depressed, I'm afraid.
Now I'm sitting here, my hair still wet from the shower I took after my run, contemplating exercise and the whole point thereof. Part of me wants to just tell myself to buck up. Enjoy the body I have while I have it. I know someday I will look back on this body and wonder what the hell my whiny 34 year old self was complaining about. Another part of me flashes back to that image in the store's mirror and kinda wants to cry.
Such trivial things clogging up my mind. It is a privilege, I know.
I have been quiet this afternoon. Just listening. I don't feel like talking much. I don't know if I have anything good to say.
The kids are happy to talk for me. They talk all day long. Nonstop. They are talking right now. Loudly, as a matter of fact. I hear them wrestling in the next room and I set my laundry aside for a minute to supervise and make sure it is not getting too rough out there.
Grace squeals and runs up to me.
"Ho me!" she says with her arms raised up to me.
I immediately pick up her long, skinny body and hold her to me. She squirms and wiggles, her pink Nike warm-up outfit slippery in my arms. I have to wrap both my arms tightly around her to make sure she doesn't shimmy free. She wraps her little arms around my neck, smashes her cheek against mine and says, "I lub YOU !" To which I, of course, reply "I love YOU!" And on and on this (my favorite) game goes.
"Hey mom, are you done folding laundry now?" Joey asks me as he slams his brother to the ground.
"No. Not yet." I answer back. "Sheesh! Careful with Ben!"
"I lub YOU!" Grace says to me and I respond in kind.
"Well could you finish? Because I want to snuggle with you. I haven't snuggled with you all day." Joey says as Tommy climbs on his back.
"I lub YOU!" Grace laughs as she squashes my cheeks in between her dimpled hands.
Completely relieved and amazed that my 8 year old still wants to snuggle with me all the time I tell him, "I'll hurry, Joe. Then we can have a nice, long snuggle, okay?"
He nods his head and goes back to tackling his brothers on the floor.
"I love YOU!" Grace squeals in my ear and I whisper back in hers, "I love YOU!"
"Mom, my best friend Sara? She is going on a cruise next week." a redfaced and hyper Tommy tells me excitedly as he bounces from foot to foot.
"Wow." I respond, trying to sound just as enthused.
"That's a silly time to go on a cruise." Tommy says matter of factly while he pushes Ben into Joey.
"Why is that a silly time to go?" I ask him.
"Because she is going on the weekend. She said it is gonna take five days to get there. That's a long time. She's gonna miss some school." he answers.
"Oh." I guess I can see his logic.
"I told her I hope she doesn't get attacked and eaten by a giant squid. Cuz she has to go on the ocean." Tommy tells me. I can't help but laugh at that one. What a way to wish a friend well on their vacation!
"I'm gonna say a prayer for her tonight so she doesn't get eaten by a giant squid." Tommy decides.
"But she'll be alright, Tommy." Benny reassures his big brother as he comes up for air from the dog pile.
"Unless she gets eaten by a giant squid." Tommy corrects him as the three boys continue to smash into each other.
"Mamma!!!!" Gracie says, grabbing my face to get my full attention, "I LUB YOU!!!"
And with that my mood is rescued. Laugher when I didn't feel like laughing. Love when I need it the most. It is just the reminder I need. Thank you, my lovies. It is so worth it.