Could our weekend have been any better? Maybe. The only thing missing was that we skipped church on Sunday. I hated to miss, but we were working so hard to get everything ready for the birthday party I knew I’d get stressed if I took out the 2+ hours church would have taken. The boy deserved to have a relaxed Mom in charge of his fete. (Remembering that last year’s party was nearly lost when the younger brother fell and cut a slit in his head 90 minutes before the birthday party was to begin; the emergency room was mercifully empty when we arrived and we returned home just as the first guest arrived; a dear friend answered my call and had driven to the next town to pick up our cake and bring it in time for our celebration. Did I mention the husband was out of town and the neighbor-nurse who came to my aid?)
This weekend the sun had come and made our days warm, though windy. We opened the windows to let in the fresh air and to hear the birds singing. Out our kitchen window we watched the Yellow-Bellied Sap Sucker resting and dining on our lilacs, making the migration from winter home in the South to breeding home in Canada.
After the party Sunday afternoon, we took our first family bike ride. All four of us, riding bikes– two-wheelers, with no training wheels! I don’t think I’d even ridden my bike since we moved here almost four years ago. Husband aired up our tires, we put on the helmets and off we went. The little one wanted to stay close to me and got really upset when I took off to revisit the Great Blue Heron I spotted by the creek when the guys went exploring under the bridge.
Later, little one came home with me, while Dad and big brother took their time. Waiting in the garage, little one asked me when I was going to die. I was slightly taken aback, but answered him with words I hoped reassured that I am here to stay. I told him I hope to live to be 90 so that I can see him grow up and have children and grandchildren. He thought I should live to 100 or more, but didn’t think he’d want any children. But, hey, he is 6, and growing up, getting married and having children is so far in the future he can’t yet begin to imagine. But wanting his mom is something that is very present at this time. I’m sure he doesn’t understand my tumor (benign, skull-base) and how I pray everyday for it to shrink away, for the radiation to take care of it once and for all. So that I can be here for him and his brother. So I let him sneak in to my side of the bed, after he has asked me to sleep in his bed with him. He is quiet so Daddy doesn’t hear him. And he feels safe and close.
And so I give thanks for the many gifts.
26. The little boy friends who come over to the birthday party and don’t want to leave.
27. Five dozen confetti eggs, for hiding, finding and cracking so that celebration spills and spreads out everywhere.
28. 86F on the second weekend in April, in the Midwest!
29. The littlest boy, who asks me everyday to tell him when I’m going for my walk, so he can come along.
30. The husband who helps me clean the house and do the shopping, so that we can both enjoy all of it.
31. For the ability to stand in for the grandparents who couldn’t make the trip up to visit for grandparents’ week at the elementary school, and the little boy who was happy to have his mom there.
32. The bird nest, complete with 2 eggs, that we discovered in the big bush during the confetti egg hunt.
33. The great imaginations inspired to create and build with all the Lego bits around the house.
34. Public radio, and our local station this is now airing some of my favorite shows that I hadn’t listened to since we moved.
35. The cards, notes and letters from my dear “Grandpa” who adopted me and my family. He passed away a year ago this month, but he is present in my life through those writings and memories. I miss how he used to show up at least once a week to talk, cheer and encourage me.
36. The son who loves history, watches it on tv, and was excited to have me show him part of our own family history.