Thursday, August 13, 2009
Last night I had one of those wide-eyed, awe struck simple flashes of a second that had me almost using my sand-laden fingers for a good pinch, just to make sure I was awake. Just to make sure that this is really, really my life.
Here's a rundown list of why...
:: flat water kayak to the point, a sandy carved out tip of land that welcomes the vibrant waters of Little Traverse Bay to its shore.
:: Swimming in said bay, the freshwater slice of heaven we live alongside. The water was cold, the first twenty steps a careful balance along slimy rocks. And then, a few steps of sand...and nothing. The bottom drops out like an underwater canyon, and you can peer down into its clear depths and see light bend and dance and when you come back up for air--I don't know-- you feel brand new.
:: Sharing a towel, fresh made pasta dinner and Bells Oberon beer with my husband. We watched the sun start to set behind us. Looking forward, we caught another daily ritual of nature as the bay shifted, camouflaging into the darkness of night.
:: laughing as we paddled back to the mainland, and getting ice cream without any small hands to wipe or chins to clean (although he did have to wipe my fleece twice).
:: Riding home under a star-filled sky, and remembering to appreciate that we live in a place that puts planetariums to shame. Our black nights are that deep. The ceiling of our world is a constant switchboard of stars.
(photos all taken from a previous date...last night we were so excited to get out, we forgot the camera!)
Ah, date night. Every Wednesday Justin and I sneak away for a few hours, mostly to kayak and catch the end of daylight along our hometown's horizon. There are so many reasons I look forward to these evenings.
:: the ability to recharge
:: the fresh eyes I get each time I look back at our town from the water
:: the silence that comes with a sleeping household upon return.
But mostly it is this: the conversations, both spoken and not, I get to share with my partner in life and parenting.
Something I've come to understand-- especially as we've added more little ones to our flock-- is how important time together (and by together, I mean, just the two of us) really is. It gives us a chance to catch up on the little things, like how I secretly wish earwigs would disappear from the planet all together, or how his legs are sore from a hard ride. It allows us to take trips down memory lane, laughing at how much we've grown and changed, sometimes together, and sometimes with one person running in circles until we again find our stride. We talk about really big ideas and family values, we dream and scheme for the future.
And we sit, side by side.
One of the million things I've learned about the parenting journey-- especially for mamas who think a lot about what it means to parent-- is that if you have a partner to share in the load of life and love, being connected opens up so much more space for energy, creativity, and joy. And for those who balance the juggling act on their own, well, that's one more reason why we mamas need to live in community and a shared spirit of celebration and purpose-- because we should all be each other's belay system, if you know what I mean (and if not, never fear, I'm cooking up words on this very subject right now)!
Here's to the time you carve out for your papas-- whether it is a few hours or a few minutes, time on the water or a walk in the woods...or maybe just meeting on the front porch or back deck for some quiet time once the little ones are asleep. Just put it on your schedule-- once a week-- and see what happens. I promise, you won't regret it.