Folklore I thought it was. Some kind of mythical legend. You go to the Ekka – our annual show – and you come back sick. Since this was my first year going, my general thought was surely not. Surely everyone can’t come back sick. It’s not the plague for pete’s sake. But legends don’t fail us, friends. They live strong, even in the hearts of those who don’t believe.
We stayed in our jammies all Friday, Ella and I. Third and fourth cups of tea were poured. Ella kept close and I taught her all sorts of productive things like how to do eskimo kisses and how to move overflowing clothes baskets to other rooms. Our weekly Friday afternoon dance party was replaced with chalk drawing and quiet time, which is really just a euphemism for please go away and leave me in peace for one hot second. I love her extra neediness for me when she’s not feeling herself – the arms that cling a little tighter, the beautiful feeling that you’re the mama…the one who makes everything better — but by late afternoon it’s kind of run its course. I’m ready to call last bites and close up kitchen. Those arms need to unravel honey, and find their way to some toys.
Saturday we woke feeling better, and the weekend saw just us girls holding down the fort; Joel was at an acupuncture course. These kind of ‘solo’ weekends used to bother me. By the end of the week, I’d run out of fun ideas, patience, and the mama imagination you need to keep little ones engaged with life and the world around them. I’m ready for Joel, all freshly enthusiastic, to sweep Ella off for bike rides and shell collecting and story reading while I grab the computer and catch up on Offspring (which I can’t even talk about right now because seriously). Now though? Now there’s a sweetness to these weekends, when it’s just me and her. When she’s the only baby who is mine to love. When I can spend my entire day taking her in and knowing her a tiny bit more and loving her in that completely intentional way. It’s dawning on me more and more that everything will change soon. There’s a part of me which knows I will miss her. There’s a part of me that struggles to believe I could ever love another baby as much as her, nor love two in that huge-as-the-universe-if-I-loved-you-any-more-I’d-burst kind of way at once. I know I will, of course, but still, I’m looking forward to drinking up these next five months with just my girl by my side. My girl with the spun sugar hair and the hands that forever wave at strangers passing by and the nose that crinkles when she smiles really big. Sometimes, when I’m at the beach watching her, I want to grab the person’s shoulder sitting next to me and say, “You see that girl there? The one kissing that dog? The one holding on to that spade she stole from some other kid? She’s mine. She’s mine. She calls me mama and she wants my arms around her when she falls asleep at night. Mine! Can you believe it’s even true?”
I don’t, of course.
I just watch. And cry a little.
So this weekend, I loved on my girl. Just me. Just her. And we balanced the art of home and the art of away like a perfectly rocking see-saw. A little up, a little down.
Some weekends, I love hibernating at home. The walls of our den wrap cozily around us where the only thing to see is each other. We eat pancakes in bed and we play music and we craft and bake, the sound of laughing children down the street wafting through our windows, drowned out ever so slightly by the live jazz coming from the cafe two doors up. I watch Ella love on her baby dolls and I imagine how good she will be in the role of Big Sister and my heart swells a little. Everything slows down on weekends like this and there is enough life going on in our home to fill the memory bank of my girl, dimmed is my desire to venture too far out.
But when we do, it’s equally as good. Breakfast dates with friends, rummaging through antique shops, beach sunsets — they are all high on Weekend Bucket List priorities. So that’s what we did too. A little in, a little out.
Just me and her. Not forever, but for this tiny slice of our lives, yes. Just me and her.
Last week’s Friday Photo Dump — I’m behind!
Bringing you my Instagram small happies — theredtent if you want to follow the feed.
show day :: survival kit making for a sad friend :: beach tine :: prettying up the courtyard :: visits from oma :: nae and ella :: road tripping :: strawberry picking :: exploring :: collecting shells :: movie night :: the bump
Hope you’ve all had a grand weekend. Clean slate day tomorrow. A fresh new week to fill with the good stuff.