Tonight when I got home from work the first thing I did (after looking through the kids’ backpacks, starting dinner, sorting the mail, feeding the cat, starting some laundry, writing some thank you notes…… okay, maybe about the 15th thing I did) was change my clothes. There is something magical about taking off dress shoes, pants with a button, and the stupid wire-lined bra (seriously, who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to put METAL in an undergarment??) and putting on yoga pants, comfortable socks, and a gloriously metal-less soft cotton sports bra. At that moment I thought “This. This is my favorite part of the day.” But then I realized that there are other, equally favorite moments in my day.
Here they are in no particular order:
~That split second when the clutter is cleaned up, the dishes are done, and the floor is swept. I don’t get there every day, and when I do, if you blink you will miss it. There must be some unwritten kid law that says “as soon as your mom scrubs the floor, make sure you spill some orange juice or equally sticky substance as quickly as possible”. My kids don’t follow many other house rules, even standard ones like “we wear pants at the dinner table” and “don’t put objects up your nose….. or your brother’s nose”, but they follow that damn kid law faithfully. BUT, that moment before the spills…..pure magic.
~Lunchtime. I am pretty much a fan of any time of the day that involves eating a meal, but lunchtime is my favorite. Mainly because half of the week I am at work and I am able to spend a glorious 5 minutes without anyone talking to me, touching me with food on their hands, spilling drinks on my shoes, and asking ridiculous questions. I am in the lap of luxury if I don’t have a small child asking me for more ketchup. “No, you cannot have ketchup for your peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Why? Because that’s disgusting. Yes it is. Okay, then ‘no’ because I said so.” When did I turn into my mother?
I much prefer lunchtime to dinnertime because dinnertime stresses me out. I hate having to decide what to make for a group of people who would eat pizza or chicken nuggets for every meal, while I feel compelled to try to include some sort of leafy vegetable and whole grain each and every day. I hate actually making the meal and getting it on the table while the kids are practicing their latest wrestling moves in the family room until someone inevitably gets hurt and starts crying. And I hate cleaning up after dinner when the wresting match reconvenes and my husband invariably disappears to check work emails or stocks or basketball scores or God knows what else on the computer or his phone. Anyway, I like lunch.
~ The moment I am done exercising. I exercise almost every day. Most people think I enjoy it, but they are wrong. There are many, many, many days that I absolutely dread lacing up my tennis shoes and making my body move in ways it does not want to move. But….that moment when I am finished with my workout, when the endorphins are flowing, when I can feel a little less guilty about the entire sleeve of Thin Mints I ate earlier, THAT is one of the best moments of the day.
~I love that moment in the bedtime routine with my kids when the books are read, the cherubs are tucked in tight, and the light is just about turned out. Those are the moments when I hear “I love you, Mommy.” And “you’re the best mommy ever.” Considering that in the light of day I hear the exact opposite sentiments, I cherish this sweet hug and kiss time with my kiddos.
~Coincidentally, the next 30 seconds after actually closing their doors at bedtime is another of my favorite times of the day. I don’t mean to, but I inevitably sigh a huge sigh of…..what? Exhaustion? Relief? Whatever it is, I sigh a big sigh and celebrate the fact that I now have an hour or so to myself with no small beings crawling on me or asking for fruit snacks. Unfortunately, that hour is usually spent doing dishes, laundry, or some other equally annoying household task, but I am able to enjoy a glorious silence while doing them.
And, what is it about sleeping children? Probably tied with sleeping kittens and puppies, sleeping children are quite possibly the sweetest things in the whole world. Today at the grocery store, Little Man was being an absolute terror and the cashier said something to the effect of “working at the grocery store is the best form of birth control”. Well, girlfriend, two things: (1) I guarantee that your offspring will not be nearly as cute as Little Man, even if he is being Satan’s offspring at this exact moment, and (2) if you come watch some sleeping children, I guarantee your biological clock will start ticking like crazy. Sleeping children are the opposite of Satan children.
At the end of the day, no matter how crazy it may have been, I can rest assured knowing that there will have been at least a few good parts of the day. I’m sure everyone can say the same thing. We just have to know how to look for them.