This week involved some solo parenting. Three days of it. Single parents, you have my unending respect and admiration. Normally I get through it ok but I’m always looking toward the end. Always just wanting it to be over.
Normally it goes better than I expected and by the time it’s over, I am relieved but happy. Ready to be done with it but not feeling done, you know?
Except this time. This time was rough. Harder. This time was decidedly not lovely.
And this is why I come here every week, to think back and look for the lovely. Because sometimes, when we’re living it, life feels anything but. Sometimes when we get lost in the fog of the thing that is overwhelming our thoughts and holding us down, we miss it. I missed a lot this week. But the good news is that these moments, they still happened. And they’re still there, nestled in my heart, waiting to be recognized.
This week’s lovely little things.
I didn’t write about it on the day, or the day after, but my Mother’s Day deserves some gratitude. A lot of gratitude. The fabulous Miss N went in on a surprise with my husband and arrived at our house Sunday morning, ready for a full on, jam packed morning of crafting with my kids while M and I went out for sushi and mimosas and an afternoon of people watching with a heavy dose of relaxation. We returned to the most beautiful sidewalk chalk artwork, and an assortment of beautiful handmade gifts. I felt relaxed and celebrated and truly touched by the generosity and love surrounding me. And that’s what Mother’s Day should be, no?
We’d never been to her preschool’s potluck picnic. They hold it twice a year, on a Tuesday, in the evening. And the timing rarely works out to get all of us there. But this time, filling our afternoon with people and activity seemed the perfect solution for what can be a very long two hours when M is out of town. So we went. And, in all honesty? It was hot. Very very hot. And chaotic. My girl ran off with her friends immediately, leaving me to frantically try to keep track of where she ran while also chasing down the baby who is convinced he is one of the big kids. None of us really ate dinner, both children had a serious serving of chocolate chip cookies, and by the time we finally got back to the car, it was bedtime and we were far from home. But what was frantic and chaotic for me was a huge burst of happy for them.
Another completely underrated milestone? When your little one is big enough that he or she can actually cook or bake with you. As in, standing on a stool, wielding a spoon, helping with ingredients, and, of course, anxiously watching the muffin-baking-show.
I may have rushed this one, or so the mess in my kitchen suggested anyway. But a happy toddler with sticky hands on a sticky floor is still a happy toddler. And cookies for dessert is never wrong.
The photo says it all. (For the record, I found him like this. But I kinda wish I had thought of it.)
“When I dare to be powerful — to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
Happy weekend, all. Dare to be powerful.
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