Saturday used to be my favorite day of the week. No early wake up call, no early bedtime; the perfect sandwich of sleeping and waking freedoms, if you ask me. But kids came and my night owl tendency morphed into early bird survival and I soon fell prey to a comfy place to fall around 10 PM, Saturday or not. Now my favorite day is Sunday.
My childhood may not be chock full of Leave it to Beaver simple, happy days, but it was good in its own way. One memory that I replay often, or that I've stitched together from a few different ones lodged in my mind, involves Sunday nights. I remember staying in after dinner, following long, hot summer days. We'd each take our turn getting showered or bathed and don our PJ's. Then we'd settle in on our butts around the coffee table and eat ice cream. We might still be able to hear the neighbor kids outside making the most of warm weather and late nights, but we didn't care. We enjoyed our treat and got to eat in front of the TV. And if I'm right, I think we watched 60 Minutes. We must have really liked that ice cream, because it fails to occur to me how four kids sat for an hour and happily watched that show. I still love it.
Thirty years later, I ache for Sunday nights all week long. I'm hesitant to ever plan anything, as I know an endless, busy week will be taking its toll by then and I'll just want Dove soap-scented, fresh-air-filled, rosy-cheeked kids snuggled up to us on the couch. I look forward to the sore muscles from lots of yard work and a nearly accomplished to-do list.
This Sunday night we did just that, and we added couch-eaten ice cream. I flashed back thirty years as I looked at my kids' faces, with chocolate smudges and laps balancing big bowls of our favorite treat. We didn't watch 60 Minutes, but we did hear the neighbor kids' happy young voices stretching out the weekend to its fullest extent. There was not one complaint.
These are my favorite kind of moments. Laughs, love and ice cream goodness with those you love. I breathed in their youth as we sat there, focusing for a moment on each of their beautiful faces and holding tight to my patience as Riley and Finn argued about who would sit next to me on the couch.
"Tomorrow we'll have a 1st, 3rd and 5th grader," I thought. Amazing.
And then, after my last spoonful of the most delicious ice cream ever made, Oberweis' Blueberry Pie, I promptly fell asleep on the couch.
Life is good.