Faire ended last weekend. This week has been filled with illness, recovery, a parent-teacher conference, kids off of school, a book club meeting turned playdate, taking care of friends, and just generally trying to keep us all afloat.
But that is the story of stress. And while stress has comprised the majority of my week, that's not what I want to focus on tonight. Tonight, I want to remember a few shining hours of perfection.
Thursday, Miles was out of school for parent-teacher conferences, but Sam still had Parent's Day Out. We took Sam to 'school', went to Miles' conference (he's doing great!), and then, Miles and I had four hours of time alone together.
Not long ago, this was our normal. He was my constant companion, in everything I did. But since Sam was born, it's rare for us to get more than an hour alone together. And I realized Thursday how much I miss that time alone with him.
Because of the crazy of the week, I hadn't had time to go out to Festival site and clean out my shop, so we started with that. I was worried that the task would cut into our time together, but I had forgotten that really, the Festival is our place - Miles' and mine. He has grown up there, and he knows the site as well as any veteran performer. And why wouldn't he? It's been home to him since before he was born. I walked those lanes only days before his birth, and carried him out there before he was a month old. It is the place where he is comfortable, and confident. The place where he is most fully the little boy I've always known.
When we arrived that morning, I expected him to run off to play in the areas around the shop, taking full advantage of his freedom to roam unencumbered by patrons and responsibilities. Instead, he asked, "Can I help? What can I do?"
So, I set him to work putting things into boxes. I climbed the stepladder to get things down, and he put it carefully away. When everything was stored, he helped carry it all to the car, and he helped do the final sweep of the area, his eyes noting details I might have missed. When we were certain the shop was fully ready for the off-season, he asked, "What next?" Ready for his next task, though I had none to give. I looked at the clock. I had expected the clean up to take an hour or two. With his help, it had taken only twenty minutes.
I hugged him, and thanked him for helping me get done so quickly, and I asked him if there was anything he wanted to do before we left. Grinning from ear to ear, he responded exactly as I expected, "Can we go to the Children's Realm?"
It was an easy request to fulfill, and so we slowly made our way that direction. As we started up the hill, I was surprised again when his little hand (though not so little as it once was) slid into mine and held on the entire way.
It was a glimpse back in time, watching him scale the pirate ship, and run the familiar paths. It was so familiar, in fact, that the changes were all the more glaringly obvious.
Where once his head barely peeked over a structure, he now stood head-and-shoulders above it.
Where once he had taken a dozen steps up a ramp, he now took three long strides.
Where once his legs had been short, but fast, they were now long, and gangly, and even faster.
All too soon, the moment was over, and it was time to head for lunch. I let him choose, and over a chicken sandwich (me) and a hamburger (him), we had a conversation that I longed for so much in those former days. We talked of our favorite things, and of school, and Festival, and friends, and family. His speech was clear, and he was able to carry a flowing conversation in a way I hadn't realized he could. We talked for so long, both of us unwilling to break the moment. And when we finally had to go, we continued to chat the entire ride home.
Along the way, we learned things about each other. I learned that his favorite superhero is now the Green Lantern - an opinion I never would have guessed. And he learned that my favorite game was called Clue, and that we actually had the game at home.
Obviously, we played it when we got here.
Eventually, it was time to pick up Sam, and while we were both a little sad that our day was over, we were both happy for what we had. And we were both thrilled to hug Samantha as she came running to see us.
|October 21, 2012 - Age 3|
Photo Credit: Juliann Courtney Photography
|October 22, 2015 - Age 6|
Photo Credit: Me with a phone :)