Today was quite possibly the perfect day.
Dentist appointment for Guy.
Family portrait session at Sear's.
Back-to-school lunch at Denny's.
Roller-skating in the house.
Fort-building with pillows and blankets on the back deck.
Let the kids clobber me with pillows.
Stared up at the blue, blue sky.
Read books to my children.
Played straight through an earthquake, in fact.
Went for a nice--long--family bike ride on the new bike path.
Played on some pretty ancient teeter-totters at the park.
Ate ice cream at the Freez.
Attempted to catch frogs.
Had an impromptu bike rally with sidewalk chalk drawing.
Baths for the kids.
Tucked them in bed.
Then I gathered some of our favorite books to read to Guy one last time before he goes to school tomorrow. I thought about how precious these books have become to me. They hold, by association, such sacred and special moments that I have shared with my children over the years. By the time I returned to his room to read Guy the books, he had fallen asleep.
Darn. I was afraid that would happen.
So I hugged my snoozing Guy, and told him that I loved him...and as I did so, the soft, yet steady beat of his heart filled my ear, and I remembered how I listened to his heartbeat on the monitor in the hospital while in labor with him, and how that sound was so comforting to me...and found comfort once more in that lovely sound.
Then he stirred and was upset, because he thought that he'd missed the bedtime stories. So I laid down next to him and Autumn and read book after book after book--until Steve yelled up to me and said, "You've got to let him go to BED!"
Knowing he was right, I hurried and finished the story I was reading. Guy noticed that I had skipped some parts of the story, so I explained that he needed to sleep.
Then he said, "It's ok, Mommy. You've read me just the right amount of stories."
Now, anyone who's ever read a child a bedtime story knows that "you've read me enough stories" is just not a phrase that is part of a child's vocabulary! But hearing those words tonight was a sweet and tender mercy that I had not expected.
"You've read me just the right amount of stories." Mothers don't often get that kind of direct and specific assessment of their work. But tonight, it was the nod that I needed from one of my most important clients.
For now--for tonight--my efforts as a Mother have been "just enough".