This morning when Nels gets up he runs out to the living room and curls up in the chair. I turn from my computer and morning coffee and ask, “You need a cuddle?” “Yes,” is the inevitable reply. I pack two blankets and my coffee to the couch and he folds into my arms. He smells wonderful, like himself and his father, since Nels often ends up sleeping against Ralph’s chest.
Our children are pretty large to still curl up on our laps, yet curl up they do. There is no sign of abatement in the holding and kissing and hugging and nose-rubs and just closeness. Yesterday my son and I got up to a lot of wrestling. It’s no joke to wrestle the kids these days, especially if you don’t want anyone to get hurt. They are strong like badgers. But I eventually got the best of my boy and sat astride him. Once you get the arms above the head it’s easy to hold them there. But I hold him lightly, not rough. And then I ask him if I should kiss him or tickle him or give him a nose-rub. He cannot resist asking for the worst of the worst – tickling! He laughs in total abandonment and his baby teeth show, only a few more months glimpse of those little top teeth and they’ll be gone soon. I tickle him but I’m careful because you can go wrong and really hurt someone.
Then later I say, “Boy, when I go back to my sewing room and start working, I sure hope you don’t finish your snack and then put away your plate and wash your hands and then come back there and pretend there’s something really important for me to see, and then lead me to the bedroom, and when I get near the bed you push me down and give me so many kisses.”
I don’t get much sewing done.
We basically do this shit all day long, in between I do the dishes and clean and cook only a little and eventually we head outside in the sunshine on errands. Today the kids were happy in an activity a little overdue: cleaning and dusting and sorting their room. They ran and got the vaccuum and dampened cloths and sorted the books and toys we were ready to consign and donate; they put in a little pile those items their friends had left (later they assiduously returned these to their owners). They watered and fed the leopard gecko and tended to recycling and helped change linens and make beds. It only took about thirty minutes to have a cozy little space ready for them again and I envisioned when the other kids would come over, and how they’d sit in the room and play Yu-Gi-Oh or Legos (and indeed, this did happen later in the evening).
I thought about how easy it is to simply squander our time with those we love and care for so very very much, and I thought about how I was ready to spend more time mindfully being there and less time doing some other stuff.
I was remembering things when they were very small and how much less ambition I spent on activities and plans other than the contemplative work of home and wee ones. Returning to that space the last two days felt very welcome, and I think I’ll stay there a few more days at least.