Do you ever look at today from some time far away from now? It’s a trick I have for counting my blessings. I discovered it when I realized how nostalgic I feel for years past. Our roof leaked, our table creaked, the patio door wouldn’t open, and the video cabinet wouldn’t close. But I still smile when I look back, because the boys were learning and growing so much. They made me laugh every day. Drew used to yell out “I forgive you” instead of “Good night”. He confused the phrase “having surgery” with “getting adopted” and told everyone the latter would be happening to him. John wore shorts, cowboy boots, and a blanket-turned cape every single day. A cowboy hat too. Our house was tiny and cold in the winter, but we just draped blankets over everything and snuggled through it. We didn’t have enough money, but we had such happy plans. And they were possible.
The happy memories are triggered by a song I loved back then or a movie we watched every day or just anything really. And it always makes me think, how will I look back on now? Won’t I be glad I worked from home? Instead of mad I hadn’t made more money? I want to live in a bigger house, one with a basement or family room where the kids can play their games while grownups visit. But then, with so many rooms to spread out in, how I’ll miss now when the boys squish together in the same chair to watch television. I want to give them their own rooms, but then I’ll miss now when they deny one room completely and all pile into the same space to sleep. Two in bunk beds, one on the floor on a pallet he calls his couch. And anyway, if I’m going to look back on it so fondly then, can’t I find a way to be totally satisfied with it now?
Lately, I never tell Jake to hurry up. I watch him as he pays such close attention to his sandal straps and carefully, deliberately matches the Velcro parts together. I stand still, not even tapping my foot, as he gets into and out of the car as if the car is as much a destination as the store is, or our home. And I learn from him. To slow down and notice what I’m doing when I do it. To be glad I’m alive, and with him.