One Step Report #40
Fall. I’m a few weeks behind the calendar, but in my heart it’s now officially fall. I love this season so much. I’m ready to wear snuggly clothes, cook our favorite soups, play in crunchy leaves, bake a pie and rediscover my love for all things pumpkin. It rained most of the week, and with the rain has come cooler temperatures and the feeling of autumn in the air.
Only a few more weeks of soccer and we’ll have our Saturdays back for a while. Much as I love soccer games, the season has stretched us so thin that I can now see holes. I’m anxious to pause, regroup, gather in.
This week’s report: 79 steps. It was a great week.
1. This was a week to throw open the curtains and drink in the sight of green grass. Yes, we’re still giddy about our new lawn. I can hardly describe how joyful my heart feels each time I see it.
2. This week we got out our Halloween and pumpkin themed childrens books for reading. I have a few that I really love, and it’s always fun to rediscover them.
3. One day this week, while driving home from school, we watched the blue sky turn dark, then turn to light rain, then heavy rain, then pounding rain, and finally to hail. My two year old, who typically is frightened of such things, squealed and laughed and yelled with delight as she watched it all unfold on the windshield. I slowed down and we all enjoyed both the storm and her delight.
4. We celebrated my daughter’s 8th birthday. It was wonderful.
5. I had lots of “moments” with my four year old son this week. Oh my, he can be a handful. I always wonder how the twos got such a bad reputation when it’s really 3 and 4 that wear you down. One example: at his soccer game, he flat out refused to play. Then he sat down on the ground and cried. It was our turn to provide the treat, so I told him that if he didn’t play, he wouldn’t have a treat. I would let his sister pass them out. I sat there and ignored his attempts to gain attention through negative behavior, and I should probably be ashamed to admit that I was rather looking forward to marching him to the car after the game WITHOUT a treat of any kind.
Then, at the beginning of the 4th quarter (yes, the 4th quarter) I glanced up and saw that he had quietly walked up to stand right next to his coach, and the coach (bless his soul, he is so patient with this little nut of mine) had put his hand on my little guy’s head to keep him there. So he played for the 4th quarter. He also decided to use the world’s longest windup when he was assigned to kick the ball off. He lined up back where the goalie would stand, then ran forward to the midfield line and kicked the ball about 4 feet. For a few minutes he acted like he was really going to play, but suddenly he ran off the field again and I said to him “Oh no you don’t, you get back out there” when he stopped, looked deeply into my eyes, then quickly gave me a big hug before pulling back to look at me again, then turn and run right back on the field.
Of course, my heart softened. Don’t worry, he had more in store. When it was his turn to kick the ball in from the sideline, I suddenly couldn’t see him. Then I noticed the coach saying, “He’s going to be coming right through here” as he motioned to parents to make room. I wondered what on earth was going on, and took a cue from the heads of the parents on that part of the sideline. I followed their gaze and saw that my son had backed up through the parents, across the opening, and onto a nearby field of soccer players 3 times his size. He was a full 20 yards away from the ball. All of a sudden he got an intense look on his face, ran the 20 yards and kicked the ball. I think it went 3 feet. I was torn between adoring him and feeling 100% embarrassed at his blatant attempt to procure attention.
I don’t share this because I care all that much about whether my child excels in soccer. I’m only there because I love him and he asked to play. I share it because I’m at a point in my life when every thing I do is countered by a long list of other things that I need to do but can’t because of the one thing that I am doing. (Did that makes sense?) So when soccer becomes a frustration for me and a reason for him to misbehave, I wonder at the wisdom of my decision. It would be so simple if he would just cooperate, but that doesn’t seem to be in his genetic code this year. I’ve got my work cut out for me.
6. My sister, her husband and their 5 children stayed with us for a couple of nights this weekend. When they arrived on Friday night I realized how much I love the experience of guests arriving late in the evening. There is something so special about hushed greetings, quiet trips to the car for luggage, sleepy children walking slowly or being carried to various destinations around the darkened house to enjoy beds made lovingly by cousins before they fell asleep. It doesn’t matter if I’m the one arriving or greeting, I love those few moments. I love them for all the relief they hold, for the peace of a house that has expanded to hold additional loved ones, for the promise of rest and a joyful awakening in a few more hours.
It was a treat to have them here, to let the children play together. We were sorry to say good-bye, but so grateful for the visit. Thanks for coming, guys!
And so another week has given way to the next. The only sound is the constant ticking of the clock and the clicking of keys on my keyboard. With heavy eyes but happy heart I’ll surrender to the quiet and get some sleep. About a month ago I noticed a different feeling in my heart on Sunday nights. I used to go to bed each Sunday feeling stressed about the coming week, unable to keep Monday morning from squeezing the joy out of my night. Not so anymore. This One Step Report that I type each week has changed my Sunday nights. Now I go to bed with a grateful heart, a sense of peace and contentment, and with confidence that Monday morning will take care of itself just as it did 7 days ago. I am grateful for this gift, another evidence of the accumulated blessings of consistent small steps.
Life is good.
Have a great week!