Today was a perfect day, my kind of a perfect day. We did puzzles at the table and had pancakes for breakfast. We read Richard Scarry books and played with paper dolls. We didn't get out of our jammies until well after 10 o'clock. We shucked corn and played outside. We jumped on couch cushions and then watched Ice Age before nap. We fingerpainted and Nico read us a book about animals because he is "an animal expert" (apparently tigers eat sheep, baby horses are called calves and, by the way, fireman aren't furry and don't have nipples so he has to become a daddy now).
I love these days, these lazy days when we are all curled up together. I love that we spend the entire day doing nothing but playing and doing chores about the house. I love seeing the relationships that grow between my children because they have all this time together and are pretty much forced to play with one another. I love that Nico is a rough and tumble type boy but shows a gentleness that comes from being a brother to two sisters. He is always sure to notice when Fia or Francesca or momma, for that matter, thinks they look pretty special. He will tell us that we look beautiful or cute or pretty because he notices this. I love that Fia jumps right into finding worms and bugs and all manner of gross things outside with her brother. I love that Francesca's most used phrase is now "ME TOO! ME TOO!"
Tomorrow is a baby shower where we have to write one piece of advice to the new mom. For some reason this has been on my mind a lot. I wonder what to squeeze onto a piece of paper. What is the most important? What tidbit was passed on to me? What have I learned in these five short years?
I think after today I have figured it out. Two words that seem so simple yet so important.
Stay home. Whether it is a daily thing or something that happens on weekends only......stay home. Drink in this time. You will have so many things to do, places to go when they get older. When you can, stay home. Spend whole days in your pajamas, read books on the couch for an hour because you can. Don't rush here and there and miss out on just being with your kids. I see it happening already - already they are starting to want to do their own thing. They are feeling a bit of their independence - playing outside on their own, involved in games not for mom. Laying in bed reading books, not wanting to be read to all the time. They are forming a bit of a group of their own - loving on each other, sharing little secrets and giggles and fun.
I am happy for them, I am. This is what I have wished for.
But I am not really ready quite yet. I have come to love my days at home, spent with my little ones. Something that was not always so. I had a hard time at first, staying at home. I wouldn't have had it any other way but it's hard with a baby and no friends at home and nothing to do all day but stare at your sleeping or screaming baby. I use to try to find somewhere to go each day, to run away from my house, my boredom, my frustration. But now, now oh my how much I have come to enjoy this time and how much I want to hold so tightly on to these children, my babies and this moment.
So maybe, this year, while one is exploring and entering a new world I will remember my own advice. Perhaps this coming season there will be more jammie days and lying about days. Days of hot cocoa and books and games and puzzles and basketball contests in the basement.
And, hopefully, there will be a few snow days..............................