Monday, April 19, 2010

The Gift of an Ordinary Day

"I'm not sure what we're going to do today," I said to Mike as he scuttled out the door to work. "But we love you - and don't work too hard!"

As the door clicked softly behind him, I cradled L on my right hip, preparing cereal and fruit in the other and began to run through my to-do list for a rare vacation day. Should I plant flowers? Get cleaned up before a friend dropped by? Run to grab the long list of baby, bridal and birthday gifts needed? Paint the front door? Laundry? After all, that's what vacation days are for now...catching up with the domestic life that has gone completely awry in the wake of real life.

After an hour of play, spilling colorful toys onto L's lap and watching him place, drum and chew them, he grew tired, rubbing his heavy eyelids and reaching to be cuddled on my lap. I took advantage of this newly mastered behavior, curling him into a little ball and watching his breaths fall deeper and softer as he found his thumb, a knit blanket that had been in the family for 30 years also along for the ride. Placing him gently into his crib, I paused as I always do, marveling at the wonder he was and immeasurably thankful for all that he will be.

The daily tasks still front and center of my mind, I hopped on the Mac to quickly peruse my blog list, a morning favorite and an excuse for a 10-minute reprieve. Visiting, I pulled up her latest video post and found myself having to reach for Kleenex. A woman spoke of the beauty of an ordinary day, referencing life's tiniest of moments, describing the heartbreak of letting go and watching her sons grow up. She told her tale of picking dandelions, to counting beers in the refrigerator to the emptiness of a house that suddenly became kid-free. There are no words for how I felt: terrified. Grateful. Moved. Sad. Incredulous. Authentic. Panicked. Purposeful.

One thing I did know in this moment - today's agenda now reads: an ordinary day.

The to do list can wait. The house can be a mess. The flowers don't need planting. The door - no painting. Clothes - can be worn stinky.

Because today, more than anything in this world, I'd like to relish in as an ordinary day.

Just L, me and an ordinary day.

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