But in between, the little things happen. Maybe they're nothing. Maybe they're everything.
Last week sometime when the lovely husband was out of town I got the girls in the car and we began our morning commute to the accelerating sound of bwapbwapbwapBwapBwapBWAPBWAP coming out of the bottom left side of the car. I pulled over twice within a mile of home, convinced I was hearing a flat tire even though I couldn't see one. And because the husband was covering three cities in four days and had flown out of one airport only to fly into another and therefore had taken a car service, I turned around and moved the girls to his car for the day.
Curiously enough, that sound was the sound of tires so bald that rubber was actually falling off, and flapping around and hitting the pavement with every rotation. Not flat. Just utterly desiccated. I got $792 of tires last week. (Wait - that's an exaggeration - that includes an oil change I threw in for fun.)
On Thursday an old teacher of E's returned to the school for a visit on her day off. I remember you!! E yelled when seeing her, and didn't leave her side for the duration of her visit. It was a special moment, for this teacher had been very dear to E when she was one. She still sleeps with a blanket the teacher had given her and has several toys that were gifts. We asked her recently if she remembers what her former teacher looks like and she said mournfully, No, I don't remember her, but I still love her. So I was so happy to be able to come downstairs with my little camera and take their picture together. Now E will never worry about forgetting.
On Friday we watched The Wizard of Oz, which was monumental because I've been telling the story to E for months as part of our regular rotation of storytelling options. She's been in love with the story, so much so that I suggested both the movie and the story book for Chanukah gift ideas. She received the movie and didn't receive the story book but instead received the full-length novel, whose black-and-white illustrations of the witch scared her off any interest in the movie. She asked me to put both the movie and the book away on the shelf in her closet until she was bigger. And she didn't mention the story for a while. But then she asked me to tell her again. And then she said she wanted to watch the movie for our weekly Saturday night family movie night. And I said, "no way, kiddo" because if she was going to be scared, she was going to be scared in bright daylight, not immediately preceding bedtime. So we compromised on a Christmas morning viewing. Then Thursday night E began her nighttime snuggle by telling me how excited she was, but ended by saying she was very scared. I asked her if I should tell her she wasn't old enough to watch, that she wasn't even allowed to see it. To my surprise she nodded quickly. Until I'm 10, tell me! So I did. But Friday morning she said she wanted to watch. I asked if she was sure and she said yes and so Christmas morning, while most of you were unwrapping gifts, we followed the yellow brick road. E got nervous at a few points but because I've been telling her the story for months I just kept reminding her that "she melts at the end, right?" L, who is still sort of too young for fear, thought the flying monkeys were funny. We didn't fast-forward through anything and at the end E declared, it wasn't even scary at all! Sugar and spice and everything nice, my tushie. That girl is made of sheer determination.
Yesterday was my birthday. I told L and she said, I want cake! I told E that I turned 33 and she said, yikes! You're an old lady now!! The girls colored pictures for me and the lovely husband gave me a lovely iPhone and all you relatives who sent me cash? Thanks for the new tires! They're black and very deep-treaded and L's only taste-tested them twice. And I got my annual birthday wish fulfilled of a non-sharing woodfired chocolate pizza, and I was happy.
Today we took the girls to see a theater production of "The Little Engine that Could."
L's birthday/snowstorm/Christmas/New Year's: we're at the tail end of our third of four three-day-weekends in a row. As you know, vacation time with small children is not exactly what a month of three-day-weekends might otherwise sound like, yet we're all well and still smiling. Only one member of our family hasn't fared too well: