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!