Monday, March 31, 2014

Full Circle

When I was growing up, we had just a living room and a kitchen, no dining room and certainly no formal living room. Our living room was just that, lived in. It housed our only TV and was often where we gathered for birthday parties and special occasions. Every family picture I have features me and my siblings standing in front of our fireplace, a can of Diet Coke hiding in the shadows on the nearest coffee table, my dad's tennis shoes tucked in the corner by the front door. I forever pined for a formal living room, a room that would always be clean, free from newspapers and coffee cups, ready for the parade of guests I was sure I would host one day. 

When David and I bought our house eight years ago, my wish finally came true. We indeed have a formal living room, the one room that is always clean and houses the one piece of new furniture I have ever purchased. Little did I know, the "parade of guests"  I would eventually host would be a bunch of  five year-old girls having a dance party in that very room, turning my lovely couch into a fort, a boat, and finally, a trampoline. 

It started innocently enough. Music was blaring, the girls were having a contest to see who could get their skirt to twirl the biggest. 
The girls we had over were precious. Morgan refers to each of them as her "bestest friends" and was so excited for them to meet. They both posed for the camera, while my daughter spent her time looking as feral as possible. Clearly, she succeeded.
It was a matter of minutes before they needed to catch their breathes, collapsing on the couch in a fit of giggles.

And, as is the case with all good parenting stories, "I turned my back for just a minute." - When I walked backed into living room, construction was well under way.

For the next thirty minutes, I watched as they worked together, their little creative wheels turning as they created and then destroyed every configuration they could muster with six cushions. Not surprisingly, the possibilities were endless.

And there it was. My formal living room. Lived in,wrinkled and worn, marked by greasy little finger prints and now full of one Saturday's memories. Just right.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Little Things

Going back to school has meant that I am often trading family time for homework. It has also meant that I am often listening to the ruckus of my little family while I pretend to be studious in the office. Tonight, I took a break from studying to actually cook my family a meal. As I stood in the kitchen slicing tofu and eggplant, I couldn't help but hear the thunderous cackling emanating from the living room. Johnny Cash was blaring from the stereo, barely drowned out by the screams of my husband, begging for mercy.

I poked my head around the corner, just in time to catch a glimpse of Morgan in a tutu, pinning her father in a head lock. I grabbed my camera, simply wanting to capture the juxtaposition of my ballerina daughter dominating her father at Worldwide Wrestling. Girl power at its finest.

In an instant, the timer on the stove buzzed, signaling my return to the kitchen. I began plating rice and vegetables, yelling to the two of them to make their way to the table. They both sat down, with rosy cheeks and sweaty hair pushed back on each of their foreheads. I took just a moment to breath it all in.

For as crazy as life may be right now, it is those fleeting moments that still matter the most. Those moments I witness between a father and daughter, pure and full of joy. Those moments when the rules don't apply and pillow fights are expected. Those moment when I feel a little less guilty about the time I spend with my nose in a book and a little more at peace knowing that I am part of such a special family.  For as crazy as life might be right now, I am happy. Maybe the happiest I have ever been. Ever.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Spring Fever

We've had a couple of moderately warm days here recently. Just warm enough to let you think it's almost spring...until it snows again and your husband starts crying because he is tired of looking at kitchen paint samples and just wants to go mow the lawn. Not that anything like that has ever happened here. 

Over the past few days, David has been working on his worm farm (don't ask) while Morgan has pulled every thing in the garage out into the front yard. Now that she is a little bit older, she actually gets to play outside with a little less supervision. And by less I mean she is no longer physically tethered to me while I give everyone in an unmarked van the stink eye and yell at every passing car to slow down.

As I looked out the front window yesterday, I watched the following unfold.

When I got close enough to ask her exactly what she was doing, she looked at me like I had two heads. "Mom, I am just making my pirate ship. This is my boat and this is my oar and this is my life preserver." Oh, duh. Because all pirates survive the rough seas using inflatable pool toys.

 Looks like David isn't the only one with a little spring fever around here. Now I just need to get the worms out of the garage.