Today was the first snow of the season and just before it started in earnest, the boys and I walked six miles round trip to the grocery store to buy dinner fare. Throughout the summer and into the fall we walked to the farmers’ market on Sunday mornings but now that it is closed for the season, we spend Sundays after brothers breakfast walking to Lahser and Maple to visit the new Kroger store or Plum Market for our Sunday dinner essentials. Tonight we had a very special celebration. The kids all had exciting weeks and great report cards so we recognized their hard work and accomplishments with (what else?) great food!
It was a perfect early winter day for a long walk. The crisp air rosied our cheeks but with little wind it was quite comfortable. We walked along chatting and catching up on our weeks, the boys going on and on about ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ which they watched with Kevin on Friday night (minus a couple of really scary scenes) and their horseback riding lessons on Saturday afternoon. I heard about friends at school, imaginative variations on stories they are reading, and their current ‘faves and flops’ at school and home.
We had lunch and started cooking at about 1 o’clock. Mairen and Kevin were out for the afternoon counting fruit orders for the Derby Band Boosters and the boys and I spent a couple of hours making ginger molasses cookies, a huge heart shaped chocolate chip cookie for Mairen decorating it with ‘Good Job!’ in icing, toasting pecans for the salad, making meatloaf and prepping the salmon and all throughout we nibbled the cookie doughs and chatted. Conall went over to Dominic’s house for the rest of the afternoon and Declan and I watched an episode of ‘Planet Earth’ and then played a fierce game of ‘War’ with a deck of cards with Jerry Seinfeld’s face on the King cards. Fun!
Many weeks are hectic and full and time with the kids is limited and this was one of those weeks. With work, school conferences for the boys, a charity event on Wednesday night, and a whirlwind trip to Texas for 36 hours this was quite a busy one! We all needed a quiet day to reconnect and relax and share with each other. It was a big week for my kids. On Wednesday, Mairen was honored with the Birmingham Optimist Award for community service, Declan was student of the week at Quarton, and Conall earned enough Accelerated Reader points to lead the pledge of allegiance for school. Luckily I was able to attend all of these big events. The busy week for the kids ended with a final, frenetic push on Mairen’s part to sell enough crates of fruit to win the grand prize…she did it!
It is interesting to see life starting to really leap forward. I know everyone says that once your kids start to get older time flies but until this year I thought I would be immune to this phenomenon. I was stunned to see big, wet snow blanketing the leaves yet to be raked up and then realized Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. I learned so much about the kids and their week and even caught up on my emails and facebook. If today had been a day filled with movie going or house cleaning or flag football playing it could have passed by without a chance to actually relax, slow down, and enjoy the kids and the snow and the joys of everyday life. Carving out time with nothing on the agenda may not sound like a big deal but as the days and weeks start passing by faster and faster, it is days like these that slow things down and allow me to refuel and reconnect and remember that being a mom isn’t about being a chauffeur or a football coach, it is about sharing the every day moments with my kids.
Slow down, catch up, and eat some homemade cookies and each day will be your best!
Molly O’Shea, MD Birmingham Pediatrics + Wellness Center