Today was one of those days. Hump day. It was sunny outside but we were inside all day long. My husband came home from work around suppertime, as usual, and I had no supper on and once again opted to cook something quick. We did cleaning and chores now and then throughout the day between school and play but the house was a mess. No matter what my husband thinks or says, I still feel defensive and discouraged when he walks into a home that looks like it had no order in it all day. (Of course it only takes the blink of an eye to put a tidy house in disarray if there's children living in it!)
Because it was a beautiful day, my husband thought we should all go outside for a bit after supper. Annnd because supper was late, that meant going outside right at baby's bedtime. If I was lucky we'd be in the house on time for the boys to hit the sack, but that was unlikely too.
I tried not to show my tired body language as I put baby down for a nap, set up the baby monitor and got the boys dressed in winter duds. This is Manitoba. We are talkin all the winter duds... even for a nice day. With the sun going down, the snow was starting to crust, so we all worked furiously to put together a snowman. Inspired by a recent book we read about caring for the Earth (We are doing Earth in social studies at the moment. ), my son was compelled to make sure that our man of white spheres was decorated with animal-friendly Edibles. He looked cute. We took a picture. It was not as bad as I thought. I was still tired, but it had been a good and healthy thing to go outside.
The boys decided to fire up the snowmobiles and do a few laps around the yard. Pretty soon they decided that it would be more fun if Daddy just drove the big machine and gave them rides on his lap and on the GT he pulled behind.
Then it happened.
As they circled the house, I was busying myself with taking compost out to the garden. The snowmobile came up from behind and went around me, followed by the GT. My oldest son, Age 5, looked up at me from it and grinned as he was pulled past. He was wearing my pink Saskatchewan Rough Rider's tuque and it sank a little over one eye, making him mostly use the other eye for any decent vision and caused his head to cock a little crooked when he looked up. His smile was gitty and large. His front tooth has been extremely loose the last few days and that made it look quite bucked and noticibly different from his usual smile. The packed tracks on the ground from the previous round around the house with the sleds made for little bumps that accentuated the happy moment of his passing with the bouncing of the Pom-Pom on top of his head. It was worth it. Coming outside when I felt like staying in. Pushing past the tiredness. Pushing past the irritation when I assumed my husband hadn't stopped to consider that I had been with the kids all day and might have loved a break. It was worth it. I didn't get some magic energy, I had to put a ton of effort into my own attitude. I chose to appreciate the good things from all this. Then that moment of joy that I got to witness as we all recreated together in the cold made me warm all over and inside to my heart. It was an extremity of loveliness. So lovely, in fact, that as soon as the boys decided to drive the machine out of sight outside the yard, I grabbed the laptop from the house and started typing this very thing. I am, right now, on the deck in my full snow gear, with my mitts beside me freeing my hands, hoping to relay the happiness of this moment into text. I now hear the snowmobile getting louder as they are heading home again now, so I am going to go. They should be exiting the bush and coming into sight any minute. How many times... HOW MANY TIMES do we miss out because we don't want to or don't feel like doing something... only to look back with wiser hindsight and say, "It was worth it."?