As I’m setting up the blog again after a few years of, well, life, I noticed that the top three topics have been: Alcohol, Housekeeping, and Tantrums. Coincidence?
There have been so many stories to tell since our journey began that I have struggled putting enough words to any single one of them. More so has been the challenge to find a good ‘first’ story, one that kicks off appropriately this Year of Living Sequeiralously. Many have come close – the (almost) $400 sandwich and the two pounds of meat I slow roasted (in the minivan at the airport parking lot during the week long heat wave) come to the forefront.
But just now, after Mick left for an evening shift after spending the whole day with us, as the low winter sun streams into the kitchen from the north (north?) west, and I’m watching the kids playing in their shorts out on the trampoline that came with the house we rented from a family of 6 who are on their own adventure, listening to Dino nice and loud, simmering some curry and rice for dinner, I realized that the epic story is that the five of us went through months of separation and moves and emerged together just wonderfully. Epic is in the everyday, and so begins the Year of Living Sequeiralously.
As my youngest takes a much-needed nap, I feel compelled to lay next to him for a while. With each passing day, a phase of our lives as parents to newborns-toddlers-preschoolers wanes and, for all the excitement of what lies ahead, there is also a sadness of letting go of the chaos with all its imperfect beauty.
My daughter, at age seven, is already learning how to game the system. For Lent this year, she is giving up “screaming at my mommy.” Such a carefully crafted sacrifice, while doing nothing to guide her towards civility, leaves me to bear, in full force, the vitriol of her displeasure. This is akin to me giving up “Tanqueray martinis with a twist of lemon” after stocking the house with Bombay Saphire and blue cheese stuffed olives.
I am convinced that the best way for young firewalkers to learn their trade is to walk across a floor filled with random Lego® pieces. And by the intense pain I am feeling, I think it would be for advanced students only.
You are getting ready to prepare dinner for your family. Your spouse and the kids are at gymnastics class and will then be coming home in about an hour and a half. What comes first?
Do you put on some Eric Clapton so you can listen to it while mixing a martini or do you mix a martini so you can sip it while getting the Eric Clapton cued up?
oh, and then make dinner.
…so we’re just wrapping up a vacation in Hawaii. Sitting on the beach, I knew that, in my mid-forties, I am no longer a bronzed Adonis tantalizing passersby with my amazing physique, but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw reflecting back in the mirror upon returning to my hotel room – man-boob tan lines.
Now that two of my three are in school full day, I spend a lot of time with my third. One ritual we’ve been enjoying together is nap time. Sometimes he wants to be alone and just goes to his bed but sometimes he and I snuggle together and fall asleep together. Maybe it’s because he’s my last baby and soon this phase of our lives will be over. Maybe it’s because things are finally a little more relaxed around here – when my oldest was this age, I had three babies around full time and no two of them fell asleep at the same time.
Whatever the reason, I’m glad I’ve slowed down enough to enjoy these afternoon naps while it lasts.
I try not to think of it as “falling asleep on the rug during the bedtime ritual.” I much prefer to think of it it, “modeling good behavior for my kids.”
…so my wife and I had a weekend jaunt to Las Vegas – our first weekend away from the kids in almost seven years (since our oldest was born). While there, we went out for long walks, checking out shows, restaurants, etc. At one point, we had a discussion about whether or not to hit a cocktail lounge or to just walk, talk, and explore. We chose the latter, as it was so refreshing to just be together and joke around as we used to.
Then we came home. The first night back, our kids were out of control – sleep-deprived and irritated that we tore them away from the treats, movies, late nights they enjoyed playing with Grandma, Auntie, and their cousins. As the tantrums continued during the dinner-making process, I open a bottle of wine and my wife asks me to make her a Manhattan. I had to chuckle thinking that for use, the one thing that happened in Vegas and stayed in Vegas was “temperance.”