It was a beautiful Chicago day. The kind people talk about when they live here and know are few and far between as we live through a long cold dreary winter. The blue sky was bright with just a sprinkling of clouds and the air was crisp. The kind of crisp where you wear a sweatshirt, but take it off halfway through your walk because you have broken a sweat – yay you!
We left for our normal walk with babies in the stroller and got a coffee then continued on to park number 1. The glorious giggle inducing swings can make your heart melt and serve to delight 9 month olds to no end. They would swing for 6 hours if we let them, I’m sure of it. Their little hands get cold and even though they would go on forever, we decide it’s time to move on.
After the swings, dear sweet dumpster husband had to depart because FOOTBALL! And that’s totally cool with us, we love that he loves football as long as we get to keep walking! On to park number 2. Babies are reclined and sleeping for a few precious moments so I speed up and fast walk around our favorite loop at another park district park. We pass the cross-country runners and the flag football teams and the many dogs that give me my fix.
One little start and cry followed immediately by the other. We are up! Ready to play play play! We stop under our favorite tree and lay down the blanket and get the snacks and toys out. There is grass in the mouth and you have to act quickly or that tiny piece of paper left by the previous occupant will be down the hatch as well. The wrestling match begins and there are crumbs everywhere and the climbing on mommy is non-stop. The joy of babies when they pull themselves up is never-ending. They are proud. They are excited to be alive and standing up. There is so much to see and do and experience and I have the honor of doing it with them.
We play for another hour and a half, a baby picnic if you will, and then head home. There are peas and carrots all over the place after a late lunch with the little girl trying so hard to take a tiny pea and get it exactly in her mouth. She doesn’t give up, she keeps trying. I watch and laugh in awe of everything they can do today that they couldn’t do just a week ago. Bed time is coming. The girl is smiling at the duckies on her feet as if they were her new best dear friends from her pack n’ play while I feed her brother one last time. They have to pause to look at each other and smile every couple minutes because they are each other’s whole world right now.
Ever since I was a teenager, something happens to me on Sundays. I get sad. I get anxiety. For no reason, but WHAMMO it hits every Sunday like a freight train and there’s really nothing to do but power through. The kind of sads that for years had me calling my mom wailing from the heavy weight – sometimes drunk and sometimes not. She couldn’t really do anything about it, but she was always there to listen. All you can do is feel it, acknowledge it and just keep going for Monday is near and that is when it gets back to normal – most of the time.
This Sunday seemed different though, I didn’t feel the sads. I didn’t feel the anxiety. All I felt was pure joy to be in this life and experiencing this joy that has been given to me through these babies. I don’t know if the sads will return next week, but for that day, they were nowhere in sight.
Even at my most desperate state of being in love, never did I have this sense of urgency to run home to my kids and savor every smell and sound and movement. To let it lap over me like honey. Today, I am in love. Desperately and fully and to the moon and back. I fight hard to feel grateful and happy every day. It’s not always easy, but when you’ve been entrenched in the sads and fought the drowning out of feeling for so long, feeling anything is a relief.
I mourn these moments that haven’t even happened yet. I mourn that it all goes so fast. So on a perfectly average fantastical day like Sunday, I strive to feel it all and tuck it away for a day when I do have the sads. It’s all in a lockbox in my soul and only I have the key.
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