My family is all back together again under one roof!!
The best thing about spending time apart is realizing how much better it is when we are all together. I experienced that very realization when I received the best possible text from Superdad yesterday (yes, even Superdad and I text each other in lieu of picking up the phone. We are an odd family.)
Superdad: Leaving today. See you tonight!
At which point I did my happy dance.
Actually, my menfolk made their trek back to our side of the state only a day earlier than planned, but even that extra 24 hours was so very welcome. It is a testament to the devotion of Superdad that was he was starting to pick up on the increasing desperation in our conversations (alright fine... they were text conversations. But he was still able to read my desperation). I was happy to spend this extra time with Annie but coping with our two needy dogs on my own was starting to take its toll. Mothering I can handle on my own, dog-care is a job for the whole family. Even as I type, Superdad is taking the pup for his morning walk- and I am not. Heaven.
Seeing my big boys again after a week apart is always a happy occasion. They aren't effusive fellows so I have to temper my reactions to seeing them again but even just seeing their silly smiles and hearing, Hey, Mom, makes me want to break out in another happy dance. They might not appreciate the happy dance, however, so I try to just settle for greeting them with smiles and telling them how good it is to see them again.
It was a warm summer night and still light out as they arrived, so everyone soon congregated in the backyard and all took turns running the puppy around and watching Annie perform her best tricks on the playset. As the boys migrated back inside a contest developed to see who could jump over the dog crate without touching it. I started yelling at them to move any furniture that could result in concussions and broken bones, while they just laughed at my concern and said how easy it was going to be. It did not look easy to me, it's a big dog crate. But after deciding to move a few pieces of furniture anyway, and analyzing wind currents, Timothy was the first to jump. He made it, only slightly grazing his foot on the top of the crate. Then, it was big brother's turn and it appeared that his extra few inches of height gave him an advantage because he cleared it easily. At which point I requested that we consider the challenge successfully settled and put an end to the Jump the Dog Crate game, forever.
But in my heart of hearts, I loved watching them try to jump the dog crate. I have loved watching these boys come up with crazy schemes and challenges for 17 and 14 years respectively. I have loved watching them grow into the buddy-like brothers everyone hopes for when they decide to have more than one child. And even if I haven't always loved it in the moment, I have loved being driven crazy by their noise, their stupid jokes, their antics, their over-the-top-obessions of the moment (which have evolved from dinosaurs to skateboards to cars), and their generally goofy ways. I love these knuckleheads of mine.
And so, at the end of the day, my only goal for yesterday became to take in the moment. To take in the feeling of overwhelming contentedness that comes over me when we are all together again. To appreciate the relief that comes when we all work together to share the responsibilties of the household, specifcally one active puppy. And to celebrate the crazy, silly, never-ending competitiveness that seems to encapsulate boyhood and brotherhood by applauding these young men of mine as they each successfully jumped the dog crate.
Can we put that on their college applications?