I just went in to peak on the boys sleeping. You know how some nights you just have to do that to remind yourself of their innocence? A reminder, I suppose, that they didn’t mean it when they spit at you or told you that you’re not their friend because the milkshake you bought them with dinner was not, in fact, a dessert because it was served with dinner.
I’ve been so exhausted lately and this weekend was no exception. Willy was in Austin for a bachelor party and given the fact it was the first week of school, and the dreaded school schedules – which is relatively new to us anyway – it was a hard, long week. And despite having an immaculate house on Friday, by Saturday morning, just about every room was in complete disarray. The pizza box from Friday night’s dinner is still sitting on the bar top.
It’s been harder to keep the boys entertained in the house. We live in a townhome, so every time I have to tell the boys “no” to going outside or to riding their bikes, I feel like a chump. I wish it were as easy as opening a screen door and letting them run free while I watch from the kitchen window and, oh I dunno, throw away that damn pizza box.
More times than not, it’s just easier to pile everyone in the car – Jimmie included (because he’s still anxious as ever about us leaving) – and head to the beach. And so, we did.
When we got to the local burger joint, I realized I forgot Hooper’s shoes and instantly felt gratitude for the forgiveness shown by living in a beach city. I also laughed to myself as I looked at Van, fully decked out in socks and shoes (the kid is quite particular about what goes on his feet these days), and poor Hooper with his dirty, grungy feet (who never even pointed out the fact he didn’t have shoes because, well, quite honestly it happens often).
We got to the beach just a bit before sunset and lined up next to the regular campers that seem to line Doheny in the summertime, and year-around, really. The boys finished their milkshakes and made a haphazard attempt at eating enough of their cheeseburgers to make a parent feel adequate about calling it dinner before running off to touch enough things that made picking their cheeseburgers back up not really an option anyway (how’s that for a run-on sentence? I’m tired. Did I say that?).
We stayed just long enough for the calm to wash away whatever difficulties the weekend had brought and when the boys made the argument that the milkshake they had with dinner was not dessert, I had just enough to patience to hold strong and explain, albeit numerous times, that it was indeed a treat.
And now, as they sleep so peacefully, clinging to the blankets they’ve had since they were babies, side by side in a shared room, I can look back on the day and feel good about it. And even better about the fact that the nap I literally snuck in earlier today granted me the energy to stay up and put thoughts into words; which is a luxury I have not had enough of as of late.
Please join me in supporting the other photographers participating in the Childhood Unplugged movement by clicking here to see all our submissions. You can also follow us on instagram (@childhoodunplugged) and be sure to use #childhoodunplugged for a chance to be featured on our Instagram feed.
I tend to lose my mind sometime around this time of the year for the last few years. It starts with Halloween, which always sneaks up on me and makes me feel like a piece-of-shit mom for never having the energy to make some handmade clever costume. It’s quickly followed by Hooper’s birthday; a day that, for the past three years, I’ve haphazardly thrown something together at seemingly the last minute writing off the lag time by reminding myself that he’s too young to really care anyway. But this year, he knows what’s up. I still lagged, but I did manage to get an email invite out to a few friends and family.
No crazy decorations, a last minute pizza order after we decided a BBQ would be too much work, a pinata stuffed to the brim with leftover Halloween candy, some very special out-of-town guests, and enough wood to keep a fire blazing; the most perfect contradiction to the crisp autumn air.