For a long time I’ve wanted to have a family and be an “adult”. I’m not sure why because this adulting thing is for the birds but it was on my list of things to do so here I am doing it to the best of my ability (which is questionable some days but everyone seems to be alive and in some way thriving). I also have a very distinct memory of me as a kid playing outside on a brisk Fall afternoon and running up the back steps to come inside, presumably for dinner and being smacked in the face with some smell of food cooking and it just is one of those moments that sticks out. At my parents’ house they have a vent fan over the stove that vented into the outside and just happens to be right outside the back door. Nothing special or magical from my childhood and very “basic”. For some reason the juxtaposition of the cold Fall air and the warm smell from the kitchen has cemented itself in my memory and become the template for a quintessential (see all those vocabulary words I’ve stuck in here?!?!) Fall afternoon. And because of this memory I have always associated Fall with family, comfort, and home. Now with a child of my own it’s a different perspective but still the same, the magic is really in the small stuff.
This afternoon was a clear representation of why I named this blog “Inside the Messy Life of a Working Mom: Finding Perfection in the Imperfection” and an attempt to create those “perfect” Fall memories with the Munchkin. When I got home from work, I was the only one home. Babci had left for her karate class and the Mr. was still at work so I relished a few minutes of quiet before walking up the block to pick the Munchkin up from her babysitter (who happens to have grown up on the same block I did just a few years ahead of my brother and me, she lives a block away from her parents and I am living with mine; not many of us go very far in this town).
The Munchkin and I walked home through the leaves, she loved the crinkling and crunching of the leaves and I explaining how the change in sun exposure, loss of chlorophyll, protection for the on coming winter etc… are responsible for “Fall” (the Munchkin’s elementary teachers are going to hate me, I can see it now). We get home and I get started on dinner. Thanks to batch cooking this process doesn’t take long but it’s still a requirement to eat. As I’m making my sauce (or “gravy” for my Italian friends out there) to go on the spaghetti squash the Munchkin finds her crayons and plops down in the kitchen and starts coloring.
As you see in the picture, Ajax is hanging out as well and this moment just makes me stop and take a breath. This is what life is all about; not the big/fancy because those things only happen rarely (at least for those of us not independently wealthy) but in the minutia of life. Something as simple as making dinner is a time to celebrate what your life has given you. Of course with a toddler, it’s also time to not turn your back, because while I’m standing there waxing all poetic and nostalgic this happens:
I don’t know whether it’s the current tragedies we’ve been experiencing, just being in a good mood, or what but I couldn’t get mad at the Munchkin, she’s just doing what 18 months old do. I had to take away her crayons though (she does have to learn she can’t draw on whatever) but it was just one of those moments where nothing could phase me. The Munchkin and I just enjoyed a couple hours of relaxed quality time together, we watched some “Bubble Guppies” and played with her toys before bath time and bed. I also used some “Bubble Guppies” time to break out the Magic Eraser to clean up the crayon.
And as if my day wasn’t complete, the kitchen sink ends up with a clog. The Mr. (after working 10 hours) is down on the floor clearing the clog, asks me to run downstairs to see if the slop sink is overflowing and suddenly I hear “bring towels! Lots of towels!” and I just had to start laughing. He just sounded so helpless and cute as I envision him being soaked by stinky drain water it was just the appropriate ending to a perfectly imperfect day.