At the gym this morning, after his swimming lesson, Littlest said to a woman in the changing room that he had already practiced hockey, built Lego, had Second Breakfast and watched television that day. It was 11:00. He wasn’t doing a kid’s version of an adult’s litany of I’m so busy; he was just answering her question about how his morning had been. It had been full. And so was his afternoon: we walked home from the gym, grabbed warm milk to go on the way, raked leaves for two hours, he built more Lego, we took Middlest to an afternoon class, he did an hour of math homework, we walked home, bought marshmallows and hot dogs on the way, and we ate dinner and dessert al fresco around a bonfire.
By 6:30, the fire was dying out, and so was he.
I needed a glass of wine to go with my s’mores because, honestly, the rush and the push tries my patience six ways from Sunday, but part of the exercise of the bonfire was to sit and to stop and to rest at the end of a busy weekend. The boys ate and drifted into the house, the bonfire that was meant to be a reward for yard work was left to my husband and me, and we had the gift of an uninterrupted 30 minutes by the fire. I heard the wind in what remains of the maple leaves and the pop of firewood. I felt my body ache with raking and stiffen from resting. And resting, I see that these boys of mine thrive on the constant activity that tries me. Lack of sleep, hunger, boredom: these are the predictable things that set off bombs, but busyness does not faze them.
November nights close in early, and I love the dark and the cold and the early nudge to bed. Sleep and flannel sheets seem all the more welcome after a day that’s been jam packed and spent outdoors.
We all climbed into our beds with the smell of smoke on our bodies and the sense of satisfaction that comes with getting things done. The leaves are raked, the week is closed, and memories made around a fire to cap off the day.