Friday, September 18, 2009

10:00 p.m. on a Friday

I am lying in bed, half a pumpkin beer by my side, listening to the cheers from the football field. It was the perfect night for a game, and we took the girls. We sat with some neighbors and ran into some old friends. We listened to the band and cheered for the touchdowns while the sun set, the lake sparkled, and the trees in the distance let go of an orange leaf or two. We walked home just before halftime, tucked the girls in, and wondered how we've somehow come to the end of another week, just like that.

It's been literally nothing but sunshine since before Labor Day, and each day is a carbon copy of the one before. The days and the weeks whoosh by - how can September be half over? - in a blur of birthdays and walking to school. It's my absolute favorite time of year, and I am trying to take it all in but of course it is going too fast.

I thought having Annie in school half-day, every day would be the just-right balance. And it's fine, but already I feel the tiniest bit of panic, like, where is the time going, and, when do I see you? I remember so clearly the days when she was thirteen or seventeen months old and the days stretched long before us. I remember thinking, just break the day into half-hour increments, and then try to fill each one. I remember running out of things to do, waiting desperately for Jason to get home. Now, we have started rushing, more than I'd like, from one thing to another. She asks to do something - play paper dolls, color, go to the park - and sometimes we can't. I kiss her good-bye at 8:15 a.m. and I miss her. I miss our long, leisurely breakfasts. I miss taking up the whole morning with a walk to the grocery store or the coffee shop to buy one thing.

If there is some compensation for the heartache of watching my girls grow older, it is the new, sisterly affection they are developing. In skirmishes with others (and, OK, with me), they are quick to stand up for each other. Yesterday, for Jason's birthday, they decided with no prompting from me to work together and clean up the playroom and their bedrooms. Of course, it was a "surprise," so I was banished to the kitchen ("Mom, pretend you don't know!") to frost the cake alone, which, truly, I didn't mind. Tonight, walking home from the game, I was giving Jemma a piggyback ride and Annie requested one, too. Jason hefted her up on his back and started walking next to me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw their two hands reaching out for each other, and they held hands as we walked down the sidewalk into our cozy house. Just now, some freshly-folded laundry and a new book by my side, there's no other place I'd rather be.

No comments:

Post a Comment