RULES. In this crazy adventure I call my life, it helps to have rules. Keep your pants on in public. No hitting. Bed time is 7PM. Sit in your chair while we eat. Only 1 banana per day. Wear black pants on double unders day. Nothing crazy, just normal rules.
MONSTERS. Last night I fed my kids dinner off the cutting board as they circled the island. They turned off all the lights, and were running amok in the house pretending to be monsters. Brady was growling and Avery was following behind him imitating the noises he was making. If I’m being 100% honest, it was the first time they played together.
LAUGH. Every now and then they’d collide with each other and fall to the floor in a pile of arms, legs and giggles. Brady even helped Avery eat her dinner. He’d share his bite with her as I passed him the fork. She’d open her mouth like a hungry baby bird and belly laugh as she walked away with her mouth stuffed with pork.
JOY. I didn’t make them sit at the table. Or fold their hands and pray. I didn’t even carefully monitor how much they were eating. I was just so happy they were playing. When I looked at the clock, it was an hour past their bedtime and I was still feeding them bites of “oven steak” as they circled me making monster sounds. It has taken 16 months and 8 days, but Brady has finally learned how to play with his sister.
PLAY. I couldn’t predict how long I’d let them play. Maybe I’d just let them stay like that until they were 12. Who knows. But after all the frustrating days I’ve experienced over the last year, I needed this. I needed this almost as much as I need an ice cold margarita on the deck in the sunshine, lightly salted.
INSTINCT. So I bent the rules for my kids last night. It could set me up for a week of battling them to fold their hands and sit in their places, but it was worth it to hear them laughing. It wasn’t the kids who badgered me into bending the rules, it was my own instinct that told me that this was a precious moment that I shouldn’t interrupt. Chances are, there won’t be many moments like that. I just wish I could have bottled up the way it made me feel, and spread it on some toast so I can eat it.