Just a Little Happy Maker
Evan, one of my 5-year-old twins, was tasked with feeding the dog one week as his special job. On the second day of his week, I entered our kitchen to find him breaking up bits of different dogs treats from the pantry and placing them strategically in the dog’s food bowl.
“What are you doing?” I asked curiously.
“I’m making Mason a happy meal,” he said.
“Oh!” I said, smiling as he smiled at me.
“You are such a thoughtful boy,” I added.
“I know!” He said matter-of-factly, then giggled. “I’m a happy maker too!”
My Ethan often travels to wherever I am at 1:00 am in the morning. Some internal clock wakes him and he rushes across his room, throws open the door and runs to find me in the study, at my computer, or asleep in my room. Where ever I am, he locates me, plops down and goes immediately back to sleep.
Tonight when I got home from a late meeting, he rushed across the room and told me he missed me. As he wrapped his arms around me, he leaned in and I leaned back, savoring his five-year-old transparency and wishing the moment could go on forever.
Later, the night noises are in place. My husband is snoring in a distant room, my computer is humming and I look over at my sweet baby boy asleep in an office chair, snuggling his well-loved stuffed puppy dog. He is in his familiar batman pajamas with one black and one blue sock. As I gently brush a wisp of hair off his forehead, I am struck again by the thought that this season will morph into a new one.
How beautiful they are when they sleep…all of life stops, and they are transformed into angels of peace.
It snowed during the night a couple of weeks ago; and though not odd for our part of the country, it’s not a common occurrence for our southeastern home in Virginia.
Our five-year-old twin boys, were so delighted when they spotted SNOW from the living room window that they rushed out in their pajamas and rain boots at 6:27 am to touch, eat and play in it. I finally convinced them to come in and get ready for school after they decided there was not enough to build anything.
After rushing through breakfast and getting dressed, they asked if they could play in the front yard while I loaded backpacks and started the car. After a couple of minutes, I rounded the corner of our house to see them both dashing through a thin layer of snow toward the end of our neighborhood court.
Although there was little chance of them colliding with a car, I automatically yelled, “Get out of the street boys!”
Then again, “Come back here!”
Of course they never looked back. Their little boy brains had fixated on something and they were consumed. I can still see one twin, his scarf flying behind him while his little arms pumped to move him toward some unknown destination. His fraternal twin, dressed in coat, jeans and cowboy boots ran with that stiff boot gait (hilariously cute!) going stride-for-stride with his more fluid, snow boot brother.
I thought of calling out a third time, but stopped when I realized there was something special about this moment. I mentally forced myself to pause, breath and watch.
In perfect unison, they slowed, turned half-circle, dropped to their backs and started to make…snow angels.
It was beautiful. Simple. A snapshot of twin boyhood full of joy as their laughter echoed through the court. My heart sank for a second as I realized in my daily efforts of training, cajoling, herding and yes, sometimes counting the minutes to bedtime! I’d bit-by-bit forgotten to stop and enjoy them as little people.
I shivered as I inhaled the cold air but let the memory slowly etch itself in my mind. I’m missing it, I realized. And I thought about a wise man and what he whispered in my ear, right before I walked down the aisle to marry my husband.
“Breathe,” he said. “And just be. Let yourself enjoy every moment of this day. My beautiful girl….”
“Breathe,” he said. “And just be. Let yourself enjoy every moment of this day.”
“My beautiful girl….” he added softly and pushed me into my new life. Fourteen years later I can still recall how he stilled me and the magic of every part of that day.
I exhaled and simultaneously realized if I didn’t take time, time would overtake me. My beautiful boys, I thought as I neared them in the snow. I took a breath, moved onto my back and made a big mommy angel right between two little ones.