“Mama…” Ephraim says quietly as he bends towards me.
We’re eating lunch: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, goldfish crackers, cherry tomatoes picked from our hanging baskets, and sweet pickles.
Ephraim’s just brought three or four of the latter from their bowl to his plate when he leans in the direction of my chair and whispers solemnly, seriously. “Mama,” he begins again. “Would you call me…The King of Pickles?”
It’s the strangest thing I’ve been asked all day.
There are times when I have to stop and take stock of where I am. Sometimes it hits me when I walk into a room and see all four children playing in there together. Though not together. Just in the same room at the same time. There are four of them! I think in wonder. I love seeing them all in my line of sight at once, and not just because that means I don’t have to wonder where so-and-so is (and what he’s up to. Usually it’s Anselm.)
There’s an incredible fairy-tale quality to it all. Living here in the green of summer with the fireflies and the sunsets and all the wonder of the season, with the playing and the running and the berry picking, with the swinging and the reading and the adventure of fantasy. There’s no place I would rather be than here, surrounded by my children all day.
And yet each day hold more than just the lovely parts that get photographed, to be sure. There are the hard decisions and the long nights. There are the routines that we desperately need but that sometimes I just don’t want to stick to. There’s the general disorder and frustration of when said routines are forgotten.There are the unremarkable moments that I’m still not sure how to handle. There are the beautiful days marred by the attitudes little people who don’t want to play outdoors, and who sit on the stoop and sulk when Mama makes them go outdoors anyway.
And then that same little person is agog over the fact that we get pickles as part of our lunch parcel, and in his excitement, he asks to be named their monarch!
Our days encompass everything, from the fantastic to the mundane to the precious to the precocious. (That last one would be Anselm again.) And I fret a lot over this blog. Am I wasting my time, trying to describe my days for whatever purpose? Do I have a purpose? Am I being encouraging? Am I being too preachy? Am I painting everything with a rosy wash? Am I authentic enough? Am I honest enough? Am I too honest? I’m well aware that an awful lot that gets recorded here, like Ephraim’s Pickle King request, probably gets lost in translation, and I retell it in type with a sheepish grin and shrug. You just had to be there!
And I fret over posts like these. I don’t have anything for you to pin. I don’t even really have a kernel of truth to takeaway. I’ve just got my story, my lovely, silly, hard story, the pickles on the lunchtable and their Monarch in his seat.