Aah. We all slept well last night and until 6:40a this morning! I'm amazed by the difference an hour more of sleep can make; I'm bright-eyed, calm, steady.
It's a stunning day out, breezy and blue; the kind during which any relic of sadness, frustration, blase, negativity seems to blow out on the wind's coat-tails. You're left just exhaling deeply, a small smile tugging at the corners of your mouth even if you're unaware of this minuscule muscular motion.
The boys are happily at school: Jack, dressed as Tex, was eagerly anticipating the Community field trip on which he was headed; Oliver, clad in his bat pajamas, thrilled by the arrival of PJ Day. I went to Pilates, delighted as always to be surrounded by the wonderful group of women who comprise the Thursday morning class, grateful for the ones who've become so much more than mere acquaintances.
Since I returned home, I have, not surprisingly, been cooking. A double batch of leek confit, done. A gorgeous vat of strawberry sauce to dress two cheesecakes, check. The beets are trimmed, the potatoes sorted, and aren't they lovely? It's such a treat to be able to take photographs outside again; I've missed the warm daytime light that winter seems to keep staunchly at bay.
These are the sorts of days during which I see more clearly what my life might be like as the boys leave babyhood assertively in the past. I've not bought diapers in weeks now- do you know it's been nearly seven years since I could say that? Yesterday, Jack took enormous pride in independently fetching a bowl and the cinnamon from their respective cabinet and an apple from the fruit bowl. He washed the apple, cut the slices, sprinkled them with cinnamon and proceeded to snack. His sense of accomplishment was so darling to witness, and I beamed right alongside him. Every day now, it seems, I notice more of these attempts at independence coalescing into practiced ability. And I celebrate this growth; it's time for them, and it's time for me.
Certainly there are days when I plead with the boys to stop growing, to promise they'll always hold my hand and love me in the unabashed way that children love. They won't stop growing, will surely stop holding my hand at some point -at least in public- and the ways in which they love me will probably become more private, more grown-up. And though those thoughts tug, rip, at my heart, it's also as if another door is opening.
Just this morning, on the way to school, Jack recalled that in PK, "we couldn't go to the salad bar by ourselves! Can you believe that? Now we can. Without asking." I could hear his eyes widening as he expressed disbelief over both and simply replied, "isn't it neat the way growing up brings with it new opportunities and responsibilities?" I wouldn't for the world have given up these years at home with my boys but in small slices of time, like this morning, I feel equally grateful that I've worked so hard to maintain a sense of self distinct from them, from being their mom. It has and will serve us all well I think.