"You know I don't like it when you say that," I said unkindly to John. After coming home from work, John walked into the most tense part of our day. Burl was crying and disobeying and I needed to talk to him, and Fern was crying for a reason that I didn't know. John gently stepped into the situation and we tagged teamed our crying children until everything was fixed. Right now, I can't even remember what the problems and solutions were. After it was all said and done, John kindly offered comfort by saying, "I'm sorry you had a bad day." I really don't like when he says that and I let him know. My day wasn't bad at all. In fact, it takes great tragedy for me to declare a day as bad. My day was great. Later, after we put the kids down, I asked John if we could talk. I apologized, then attempted to explain why "bad day" or "stressed out" statements bother me so much.
Here's the thing: when things get tense with our kids, of course, we get tense. It's totally normal. However, to say that my day was bad is not seeing all the little moments that I've had spread out the entire day. I might not have any grand moments or great stories to share from our day, but I have little things spread throughout the whole day that make it great.
Recently, the kids are starting to be together more and it's wonderful. They eat lunch at their little table, looking so big and little all wrapped into one. They talk and laugh in the van while I drive. They sit in little chairs and watch Curious George. They crawl through the tunnel together. They give toys to each other. They play the same games together.
Then, there is the simple stuff that they do on their own that fill my day constantly. Fern: the way her bottom sways back and forth when she crawls really fast; the face she makes as she climbs up in Burl's chair, the way her room smells when I walk in and get her out of her crib; the fact that she closes her eyes when she nurses; the way she sits up straight in her high chair and holds on to the sides if she's being fed something extra yummy; they way she points to things she wants. Burl: they way he says Ferny; the way he leans on the couch to watch TV; the way his cheeks hang off his face when he's concentrating; the questions that he asks and the thoughts that he shares; the way he decides what to wear each day based on what work he's going to do; the new things that he's constantly learning to do.
As I shared all this with John, he told me that he liked what I was saying and it made sense. There are so many small things that happen minute-to-minute, day-to-day that I treasure. Whether I'm disciplining or snuggling or simple observing my children, I would say that everyday is a good day. Everyday is good. To be here with them, watching them, training them, living with them, is so good.
As we launch into several days of John being home with us, he said that he's looking forward to more of the little stuff that happens during the day. I look forward to having him home too, so we can dish over the simple little things that parents treasure.