Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Get It Now

Years ago when my husband had his very first bike race, I invited my sister to go along with me. This offer was mostly done out of selfishness - I had never been to a bike race and didn't know what to expect. I was completely surprised when she said yes, she would like to do the 4 hour drive to Wintrhop, stand in the woods, watch her brother-in-law race, and drive back, all in one day. Happy, but also a little surprised. This happened 8 (give or take) years ago when her kids were around 4 & 6. I was still newly married, going to graduate school, living in an apartment, and having nothing more pressing then a paper to write. The trip to Winthrop meant a day off to my sister. No kids to feed, dress, wipe, play with, or parent. She could just sit and watch the trees go by.

8 years later, my sister's kids are 12 and 14. Mine are 4, 2, and 5 months. The other night I was walking in the pitch dark, in pouring rain and smiling. I was completely drenched, from the tips of my fingers to my very cold toes (and some unfortunate places in between). I was dragging a very wet, ill-tempered dog with me, who in no way wanted to be out in the weather. In between checking for danger - it is dark out - I was just so happy. I had one hour to myself. No kids to wrangle into the stroller or the Bjorn, no crying, or whining. I know that when I walk back into the house the chaos will return. Kids will be crying, dog will be barking, and my life will resume, but at this moment I am alone.

I get now why my sister jumped at the chance to drive to Winthrop. I actually pay someone to watch the kids for an hour so I have the opportunity to walk in the rain. And I am smiling as I go!