Tuesday, June 28, 2011


If I were describing myself, one word that I would not use is spontaneous. I wouldn’t call myself rigid, but I’m one of those people who would rather have things figured out in advance. I’m a list gal. I’m a planner.

If there’s one thing my kids have taught me, it’s that not everything can be planned. Some things just happen. Actually a lot of things just happen, but even so I’m usually not caught completely off guard. But last night was different. I surprised myself.

Monte and Gavin were at a ball game. That’s a regular thing for us these days... either Gavin is playing and Monte is watching or vice-versa. With the baseball boys away, that left Benett, Elle and I at home. We had a few things to do outside, and those two are happy to indulge me. So we picked cherries. We climbed on the fence. We picked lettuce. We weeded the raised beds and checked the gopher trap. They were helpful in their smallish ways.

The last thing I wanted to do was give the perennial bed on the South side of the house a good soak. It dries out quickly especially on warm and windy days like yesterday. As I was watering, Benett somehow came between the end of the hose and the flowers. It was a cold jolt that made him squeal in delight. Ellie couldn’t resist the fun either. And me… well as it was happening, my thought process went something like this:

I really shouldn't be doing this.
They’re both going to be soaking wet.
I’m going to have a mess when they get in the house.
It’s really windy. I’m sure they’re chilly.
I shouldn’t be encouraging this.
Every time I need to water the flowers, they’re going to expect this.

But then… I couldn’t help but laugh. Their revelry was completely contagious. They were both having so much fun, and when I stopped trying to convince myself that this whole thing was a bad idea, I realized that I was having fun too. 

Their deep, contented belly laughs must have carried on the breeze to the neighbor's house... Benett, with his brazen little self threw his head back and laughed to the sky. Ellie, tucking her arms at her side racing through the dancing water. They were both loving it. They were both grinning from ear to ear, running up and down the sidewalk as I squirted them with water.

I was wishing that I had my camera with me to capture the looks of pure delight on their sweet little faces. I wished I could stop the Earth from turning and keep all of us in that moment for a long, long time. I wished I could scoop them both into my arms and tell them how very much I love them... and be reassured to know that they understood it all the way to their middle... and even more, I wished they knew what my love for them really meant. I wished Monte and Gavin were there to be with us in that moment so I could hold them tight too.

Alas, I didn't have my camera. My heart feels the burden of being solely responsible for remembering yesterday. Remembering the looks on their faces. Remembering their laughter. Remembering them the way they were in that moment. Remembering what it feels like to have love bursting from my being... feeling my soul and how it connects me to my children.

That moment will live in my heart. I've tucked it way, safely under an emotional lock and key. Even if one day I don't remember that special spontaneous moment... when the details of that summer night are fuzzy, and with the passing of time that moment becomes all together forgotten, the feeling in my heart will live on as long as I do... 

No matter how careful or meticulous, that's just something that can never be planned. I'm sure I'll always be a list gal, but I'll never take spontaneity for granted.

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