Sunday, March 31, 2013


The bar was set pretty low for this year's spring break. Anything would be an improvement over last year when I spent hours in the fetal position, muscles exhausted from dry heaving, wondering how a first trimester of pregnancy could possibly be lasting so long. I wish I could go back and tell my pregnant self that it would all be so incredibly worth it, but I guess deep down inside I must have known.

I suspect she will not appreciate her ears as much as we do.

It wouldn't be spring break in Oregon without some rain, but we did see some days of brilliant sunshine. We all survived Jack's first sleepover at our house, despite an evening of overindulgence and musical beds. The boys were kept busy with a couple of playdates. I did a little Easter sewing. We had an afternoon of bowling with friends which turned into a pizza party complete with wine and ice cream and a many more kids than adults.

These kids have all known each other since birth and they interact with the ease and familiarity of cousins. The ringleaders are the flower girls from our wedding, almost all grown up. These boys operate as an amoeba, flowing through the house and backyard in boisterous and sometimes obnoxious mass of lightsabers and chaos. And Clementine, who inevitably finds her place in somebody's lap, is the very last baby in this crew.

We sat around drinking wine and watched some home movies of the kids that included a few frames of younger versions of us, before wedding, before kids.  Brent's hair sure used to be more brown than grey. I see now that my face has grown much more angular, having lost the softness of being twenty something and without any real adult responsibilities.

I also think I probably should have used more sunscreen.

Peering into the window of our old lives made me feel like I've been married for a long time. Sometimes we get too caught up in the what's for dinner?'s  and who is on a time out for hitting who and it's become easy to forget that we were once together just for the sake of being together. For a time it was just us and that was enough.

I half wanted to reach into the screen and shake that babyfaced me by the shoulders and tell her that yes, she would survive grad school. And yes, this guy really was The One. And that one day soon all of her insecurities about the big unknowns would be folded into a life so rich and full of family that she'd feel like she was bursting at the seams on a daily basis. That she would never again know what it's like to feel boredom. That she would forget what it means to be lonely.

Instead I vowed to take my own home movies. And then, miraculously, in the next few days I actually did.

One afternoon this week found us with some cabin fever and so we went on our default excursion to Mt. Pisgah. Naturally we were caught in a rainshower, and of course nobody had a jacket. A sleepy Sawyer wanted to be carried until he found a giant stick, and then he whined the entire rest of the time because his stick was too heavy to drag. Clementine got fussy and needed to be held with her face buried in my neck in order to sleep. Everybody's feet got wet and muddy.

We decided to call it a day and admit defeat. Brent used to get grouchy about these things, but now he just sighs and herds us all back to the parking lot with as much patience as he has left. Once in the car, the sun breaks through the clouds. We pull around the parking lot and Clementine drifts back to sleep, Sawyer's thumb finds his mouth and his eyes begin to droop, Jack plugs into an audiobook. Brent reaches over and takes my hand. He holds it in his lap and runs his thumb across my palm as he has done thousands of times over the past ten years.

A comfortable silence surrounds us as we drive toward the sun.

"So..." Brent turns to me. "What sounds good for dinner?"


  1. Such a nice post! I am so jealous of the warm weather these days that my oregon friends are experiencing. We freaking had SNOW today. WTF. Who knew I'd miss the 9 months of rain so much...enjoy your spring!

  2. Hi! I finally got around to reading and responding to your comment on my blog (thanks for that, by the way!). I just read this post, and I absolutely loved it. First of all, you have adorable children. Second of all, I LOVE the name Clementine! What do you use as nicknames? And those precious baby doll eyes! Third (of all?), your words are beautiful. I really enjoy the way you write. Great blog. =]