Friday, November 21, 2008

Good Day, Good Night

"Today was MUCH better than yesterday!" Ashlin exclaimed as she rode along happily in the back seat. She confirmed popular opinion by asking for a show of hands. "Guys, raise your hand if you like today better than yesterday!"

Thursday began a little earlier than normal. My first conscious breath almost choked me. The unwelcome, yet lingering scent of meat and onions was more than I could lie there and injest. Despite the 40 degree morning, I scurried around the house opening windows and lighting creme brulee candles. I made sure that the sink and trash were clear of all remenants from the previous evenings' activities. As part of the housewide fragrance strategy - and to add to the general spunkiness of the home - I brewed an especially strong pot of creme brulee coffee.

Then I had time to make paninis for Philip and JW to take for lunch. I started some laundry and bid the menfolk farewell. It was almost 7. I used some leftover rice to make some cinnamon & craisin rice pudding. My aromatic assault must have been working because children began to emerge from their rooms. Groggy-eyed bedheads wondering about the "delicious smell".

While the kids ate breakfast, I called the retreat center where I left my pillow a couple weeks ago. I've tried to sleep without it and I can't. It's the perfect combination of thick and smushy. Not to mention the four year laundry process it has taken to achieve optimal pima cotton softness! The kind and understanding receptionist at the camp assured me that it was safe and sound and encouraged me to bring the kids and come get it. "Road Trip!"

After quickly finishing our lessons for the day, I told the kids to load up. Later as we arrived at a park, I was impressed that they had thought to bring baseball gloves, tennis balls, a bat, and plenty of bottles of water. We enjoyed a "Bueno" picnic lunch, but had to cut it short in order to dash across the highway to the T*rget to use their facilities...and buy dessert.

We drove a little farther to the encampment. I happily collected my pillow from the office and asked permission to hang out by the dock for a minute. We parked and walked around. We sat around an ashy campfire from the night before, gathered rocks and skipped them across the water, and walked out onto the pier to throw more rocks.

As I was sitting on a stump, enjoying the view, I saw Ashli running down the hill toward the lake. Her pockets bulged on either side of her thighs and eventually the weight of ammunition caused her wind pants to slowly slide down her slim hips as she ran. She never missed a step. She just laughed a big belly laugh, girded up her rock-pockets and made it down to the water's edge before her brother.

After a beautiful afternoon, we stopped at the bookstore where everyone was able to purchase a book of their choosing from the clearance table. I think we may have coached Mari a few too many times: once or twice she reminded an innocent shopper, "One book! No two, no free...One book!"

The ride back home was dome-lit and quiet as each child read his new book. We arrived home in time to get the kids a bath and run my pillow through the laundry. An hour and a half later, we were all snuggled in for a VERY good night's sleep.

And if I had to vote, I'd say "Tonight is MUCH better than last night!"