When I woke early this morning, my room was flooded with a warm, pink light. With no reason to get up, I lay trying to go back to sleep, but the glow of the morning only took me back to the glow of last night. Instead, I lay in bed remembering, and pondering my children, and the concept of perfection.
After a beautiful dinner prepared by chef Guy, I wandered out to enjoy the cool evening from the back patio. I had Addyboy begin a fire in the fire pit, and though at first Guy had declined an invitation to join us, it wasn’t long before all were gathered around the firelight. We brought out a game that Francine gave to us not long ago called Table Topics. Not a game so much, as a conversation starter. It has cards with questions ranging from, “What is your favorite ride at the amusement park?” to “What is one character trait from each family member you would like to have?” It was sweet to hear Ethan say he would like to be like mom because no matter how hard things get she never gives up. Adam would choose dad's inventiveness, and he even managed to think of nice things to say about Ellie, which should earn him a medal these days. Not understanding, Tessa told us what she liked about us, which is nice too. Apparently, I smell good. Always a bonus.
As the fire light danced off my children’s faces and sparkled in their eyes, I watched them giggle and wonder and share and be so present. We sang songs, and mom was coaxed into a few circus acts, (there’s a hole in the bottom of the ocean!). There was the ever-present burp-and-fart talk from the boys, (can some one PLEASE explain this to me? Why must everything be reduced to gases?), and several times throughout the evening we had to correct one kid or another about throwing junk in the fire, crowding each other, or talking over the top of one another, but there was also a spirit of closeness that out-warmed the fire. We were vibrating with each other’s energy. As the night wore on, each voice grew more valued, each thought special. When we came inside, there was a sort of magical feeling like we had done something really important that night, and I guess we had.
I often examine the day with so much judgement, compartmentalizing moments into good or bad, right or wrong. It is so easy to pick out the flaws. So easy to say that this was good, but it was less good because of that. It is hard to let the great and the not-so great coexist side by side, and be able to value both. I guess I am learning ever so slowly about the perfection within imperfection.
As we climbed into bed last night, Guy and I snuggled and chatted a while before I noticed that my hair carried the smokey reminder of the evening’s time spent together. "I smell like campfire!" I laughed, having no intention of breaking up a perfect snuggle to shower.
That’s OK, because according to Tessa, I smell good, smoke and all.