We had one today - a beautiful, perfect, sing-the-high-praises-of-motherhood kind of day. Nothing that any other adult might consider remotely productive got done today. Then again, that depends on you definition of productive. I hung out with my kid all day - gave her my undivided attention - and she responded beautifully. If only all of my time and all of my days could be centered around nothing but her...
I didn't have my camera on me to take pictures of any of it and I'm a little bit sad about that. It would certainly make for a more beautiful blog post but frankly, I was too busy living the moments fully to stop and take pictures. Don't get me wrong - I love taking pictures but it still requires a lot of concentration on my part and I still only keep about 1 for every 20 I take.
But this day happened and I'm going to write it all down anyways. I could use the word 'perfect' at least 165 times but I'll try to keep it in check. I want Ada to know that these days existed for us. I want her to know that there were times when I dropped everything to just soak up the purity and sweetness of her presence. I want to remember it too - that there were days when literally all I did was actively love her. That being this way with her brings out her very best self. Today I hugged a little tighter and a little longer. I kissed the top of her head a little more often. I listened a little more intentionally as she tried to tell me a story, something she does quite often now.
It started with her waking up and coming to our bed to snuggle. She stopped to take off her shoes first, a very generous gesture given that she's slept in her shoes every night for the past week and a half now. She climbed up and pulled back the covers and then the most glorious part of my day happened: she rolled in as close to me as she could get so that I was spooning her with our cheeks pressed together. I breathed her in, smiled and hugged and kissed her sleepy face and stroked her arm. She said, "awww, nice mommy." After a few minutes I got a cup of coffee and she got some books. We snuggled and read together and it was very precious start to the day.
A couple of hours later we caught the bus, which is very exciting to her. The bus driver was nice and even gave Ada her own transfer ticket! Off to the brand new, 3.5 million dollar Mission Dolores playground. It was sunny. It was hot. She followed Alexa around all over the place and when she couldn't find her she asked, "Where's my Lex?" because everything these days is preceded by the pronoun "my". Here's where I could use the word 'perfect' to describe her mix of independence and checking in. Her sense of sharing and being kind. Her good humor.
When it was getting too hot to stay much longer we all walked out of the park together and went for ice cream at the Bi-Rite. The girls played and ate their cookies n' cream cones while Christy and I ate our salted caramel cones. (Can I just offer the unsolicited advice that if you're even in San Francisco you must try the salted caramel ice ream at the Bi-Rite at 18th and Dolores? I think that this ice cream was delivered to earth by the hand of God himself with the clouds parting and angels singing and the whole celestial show. Seriously. Don't die without eating this ice cream.) Christy and I talked forever about work and kids and moving. Alexa had a minor moment of acting out because she couldn't ride the bus home with Ada. I felt better that it's not just my kid that does this stuff in public because that's what it usually feels like. Then we caught the bus home.
Ada napped peacefully while I dozed in the glider across from her crib. The windows were open and the cool fresh air blew in off the Pacific ruffling the curtains that filtered the strong western sunlight warming her room. It was quiet and cozy. Her brother danced in my belly. I felt peaceful, content and sleepy. Mostly I wished that every day could be like this one so far.
She woke up and we got in the car to "rescue daddy" from the VA. She told me along the way about how much she likes her daddy. After we rescued Tim the three of us walked on the beach. Tim and Ada played a game where he tells her to march, skip, run, or walk slowly (sneak) and she does it without questions or "No!" The sun was setting, dogs were running and playing, the water was cold. Tim and I talked about the day and she ran up and down the sand. He told me about a strange pediatric case he read that day. My heart ached for this child's family and I reached down to stroke Ada's head again.
The first melt down of the day was precipitated by leaving our unseasonably warm beach. I could only cure it by promising a breakfast picnic on the beach tomorrow morning. When we got home there was an easy division of labor. We all ate dinner together. While at the dinner table the first song in the playlist (right) came on Radio Paradise. You know I love Elbow so it seemed very apros pos.
Ada is snoring a few feet away and I'm fighting to keep my eyelids open. I'll go to sleep tonight thinking of how great today was and how much I hope tomorrow can be great too. It can be so simple.