We woke up to a happy day. Steven’s birthday. What’s it like for a father of 5 boys to turn 35? I don’t know, you’ll have to ask him. I made the special cherry chocolate birthday cake last night so that he could enjoy it today. We put a candle in it and sang Happy Birthday before I loaded up four of the kids to head off to school. (Dad has to watch all the kids all by himself this evening, the Birthday evening, because Mom has to work 😦 )
Isaac was wearing his new shirt with a super hero cape attached. Just having him walk around with it on put a smile on my face and a pep in his step. If you need a confidence booster, wear a cape. It’s magic for everyone.
As we neared time to go, then it got a little wonky. People take forever getting in the car, they fight about who’s touching who, Oliver cries because he’s the only one left home alone and he so wants to get ready and GO off to somewhere like his big brothers do. He brings me his little shoes and I have to tell him no and he’s sad and I’m sad to leave him. It’s all very sad.
Then, as we’re driving to school, the perfect storm of emotions arrives. A song comes on the radio, Where were You When the World Stopped Turning by Alan Jackson. (FYI I have a love/hate relationship with that song. Sometimes I love it sometimes I just can’t stand it) Today, as it came on I saw in my rear-view mirror the tops of three little heads in a row, riding to school and a head right next to me in the passenger seat all level with mine. I get a little choked up driving to school, it’s not the first time, either. It’s weird being the only woman in a houseful of men and boys. When you have those random teary-eyed moments, they just look at you like, huh, what’s up with her? And then run off to do whatever they were doing already. I was stuck remembering the horror of a tragedy from 11.5 years ago, hearing the line, “Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love?”. I wished I could just turn around and take them home. Wished I could have this day free from our other responsibilities and obligations to just be together.
But, like many other times I’ve been overwhelmed with that desire, we continued on. I wished them a “Terrific Tuesday” and told them I loved them as they piled out of the car, and don’t forget your lunchboxes and backpacks, and see you later! Dropped Isaac off at his preschool where his teacher took me aside to tell me Isaac had a new best friend, Mackenzie. I knew, he’s talked about her pretty much nonstop. I remembered that these people here, they love him. The boys’ teachers at their schools, they enjoy having them in class. They love teaching them and sharing with them. They loves school and their friends. I may not get to love on them all day but those people I left them with will get to.
They’ll go home to their dad and they’ll have a fun day. Probably they’ll argue and fight and it will be generally crazy but it’s cool.
Then we’ll do it all again tomorrow.