I’m sure you know what I mean – one of those nights which just blends into the morning uninterrupted but for about an hour or so of sleep. Although I will undoubtedly feel the effects later today, I have to tell you – it was a great night. No epiphanies (admittedly rare for a Jewish person to experience, but occasionally I come up with something really good); my body continued to rebel against the stubborn heat, with more parts aching than I even knew I had; Sirs Arch & Theodore definitively won the battle for space on the couch, allowing me just enough room for them to sprawl on top of and/or and next to me. I know, I could nudge them aside, but I never do – I’m a ridiculous mom, even for furry, four-legged members of our family.
But here’s the coolest thing…When I walked the dogs at around 1:00 or so, I looked up at the sky. The stars seemed to be taking their places in the black expanse as if they knew where they were supposed to be. Everywhere I looked, they were popping out and appearing to move from one point to another, jockeying to make sure that they were in their rightful place. A starlit sky is breathtaking, one in which the stars seem to be waking up and assuming their nighttime positions is amazing. And it got better – the fireflies were out en masse as well. I was out there long enough to figure out that they don’t light arbitrarily. I think they’re playing ‘Marco Polo’. One yells ‘Marco’, while others flit through the sky before responding ‘Polo’. I have a hunch the game continued long after we went inside, though I was hypnotized by all of this activity for quite awhile. The night was resplendent with light and dancing and mischievous activity. I stood there grinning like an idiot, convinced I had just seen the most magical of sights.
So much for a sleepless night with vapid tv choices. The view from outside was so lively and magnificent, I would have stayed out all night. Would have of course, if the mosquitoes had been asleep.
I don’t think I have more fun than hanging with my kids. Last night two of the three plus daughters-in-law were here for dinner, celebrating a birthday and anniversary (not mine). Easing into the weekend with a lot of laughter, some serous sidebars and multiple chances to wrap my arms around these amazing people who I love with all that I have and then some.
Adult children don’t necessarily say adorable, wondrous things that can delight both parent and reader. Their bodies no longer resemble the round, magically smelling perfection that I can still remember with all my senses. They have to bend down to kiss me – a completely inverted calculation. And yet, as often as we see each other (which is thankfully, often), as easily as we still share the thoughts in our heads and the secrets of our hearts – I am always left in tears when they head back to their homes. I cry with gratitude – they are the most remarkable people; I cry with disbelief, for I truly don’t know where the time has gone (I mean really – have you seen me lately? Who would think I would have a 30, 28 and 25 year old) and I cry because every time they go away, I want to keep them with me. Corny stuff, huh? I know, but there is no other way for love like this to be articulated – we’re past poopy diaper jokes, dirty baseball uniforms and unexpectedly found condom wrappers. What we’re left with is a perfectly imperfect family, that continues to return to itself to restore, renew and reaffirm this story which is as old as time itself.
My boys…my boys…
If you’re traveling this weekend, be safe. If you’re hanging out this weekend, relish it. Whatever you do, laugh a lot, eat yummy stuff, revel in the love of your family and friends. If you’re barbecuing – make sure you have charcoal or propane before you’re ready to grill. Sleep in, rise early. Relish that you have the choice. Whatever you do – enjoy. And for my son, who was in Baghdad a few short years ago – I will take a moment to be grateful for those who have served the USA with courage, conviction and enormous sacrifice. For my dad and my father-in-law, I will pause and honor the reality that as young kids they enlisted en masse to end a war that was to end war. And I will also bow my head and wonder for a little while, why we can’t learn from history.
This is a crazy world we live in – enjoy your weekend to the max!
This is the kind of day where people either squeeze as much work into their day as possible so that they can leave the office early tomorrow or begin coasting because the prospect of a long weekend is so tempting there’s little else to think about. Either way you go (and I would venture to guess that there are very few who defiantly reside somewhere in the middle), own your day. Everyone has times when they just can’t intensely focus on the work in front of them. Conversely, our concentration is not always laser-like, powered by energy and commitment. Just raise your hand and own it – so that others don’t feel isolated by your focus or annoyed at your laissez-faire, possibly misunderstanding your actions completely.
It’s funny how such candor is anathema in the workplace. Somehow it’s not ok to have an ‘off’ day. That just defies reality. Rather than reflecting authenticity, people will try to maintain an illusion of busy-ness at all times. One of the many things I loved about most of the people I worked with was their willingness – and trust in me – to be able to admit when their heads were elsewhere, if a project was just sapping their enthusiasm, or if they were crushing to make a deadline and needed more hands. I have no illusions looking back, which is why I inserted the word “most”. I had my share of coasters and boasters, people who were hell-bent on kidding me almost as much as they were kidding themselves. I still believe that allowing people the room to move within the rhythm of their lives when possible is the far better way to go. I was able to keep my headcount low, people cross-trained and facile by creating an environment which emphasized personal ownership of the day ahead. And laughter – yeah, there was a lot of laughter. And an enormous amount of individual and collective effort. All it took was encouraging people to raise their hands.