It is Wednesday morning and my kids are at school…on time, no delay. Well, three of them are, one is sick in bed. The last time they had a full day of school was last Wednesday. That has been the theme of this winter. Since Christmas break, we have only had one full week of school with no holidays, no snow days and no delays. One week.
This last storm was a big one. We got 14 inches and if it had hit us earlier in the week, I'm sure we would have used more than just two snow days.
Sometimes we get snow days and I feel like I really didn't take advantage of the day off. But this last storm, I was prepared and I got things accomplished.
Snow Days are for building forts and reading books.
Friday was Valentine's Day and I woke up to a trail of hearts from my littlest one who thinks I'm cool.
Molly and I made cookies and cupcakes and lasagna for dinner. I had planned ahead because of the storm and I had little treats for each of them each in their chair.
But then Saturday came and it was time to work. Timmy and Ryan were sharing a room, until Timmy moved out. He moved into the basement and I didn't make him move back. I guess it was time for him to have his own room. So colors were picked and what was once my guest room, is now a teenage boy's room.
But even though painting takes a lot of time, I don't mind it so much. I don't like it, but I don't mind it. Chris on the other hand, doesn't like doing household stuff like painting and maintenance. Actually, he hates it. Just a couple of weeks ago, I caught him scotch taping one of our blinds. Ryan was leaning back in a chair, the chair went over with him in it and broke a number of slates of the blind. He's lucky he didn't go through the window. Any way, I just didn't find the time to take it down from the window and make the trip to get it fixed. So one Saturday, Chris was scotch taping the wooden blind together. When I asked him what he was doing, I could hear the frustration in his voice, in me, because the blind had been broken for months and I hadn't fixed it.
I then got frustrated with him and told him if he wanted it fix, to fix it and not with scotch tape. So I got the step ladder, I took it down, and I then told him where the blind store was, told him about how much it would cost to replace the broken slates and then Chris dropped it off. No scotch tape. Home repair is just not his thing.
So that is why it means so much more on this Valentine's Day weekend that he helped me get Timmy room put together. I did most of the painting with a little help from Timmy, his first painting job, and it was Chris who put up Timmy's book shelves over his new desk. Chris may use scotch tape for blind repair but he does know how to put up an Elfa System from The Container Store. Every January they go on sale and every January I find something to organize. Chris is an expert and I love him for it because I know he hates putting it up but he does it any way for me.
Trying to figure out the spacing.
The final product. I should have taken picture of the room when it was still a guest room for a real before and after effect, but like I said, Timmy just moved out and there wasn't really a plan to do this.
There is now no excuse for this kid not to get his homework done. No Ryan to distract him and a beautiful work space.
And just incase there was any question as to who's room it was now.
This year Chris and I celebrated our 24th Valentine's Day together. We didn't go out to dinner, we didn't spend it alone. We actually had two extra kids at the table for dinner that night because the kids had friends over. But it was still a great weekend spent together, side by side getting a job done. To keep in the Valentine's Day spirit while painting, I played some romance movies on one of the kids portable DVD players. I really didn't watch them, but I could listen to them as I was hunched over on the floor painting trim. My favorites…When Harry Met Sally. My favorite part of this movie, when they show the old couples sitting next to each other talking about how they met. I love stories, and I love listening to all their different stories of how they met…yes, I know it's just a movie. But that seems to be a universal question about couples, "How did you meet?"
Chris and I met in Stern's department store in New York. He was in men's shoes and I was in women's fragrances just across the aisle. Then he left for college, and then he was back.
My parents met on the Jersey shore. She was with a group of girl friends, he was with his friends and they all left together.
I can't remember the story about how Chris' parents met but I do remember his mom telling me about their first date. He had asked her to get ice cream and as they were sitting in the ice cream parlor eating, when in walked the parents of the boy she was dating. Well after that, she never heard from that boy again.
But even though we love these stories, it is the "after they met" stories that matter most.
There is another movie, Shall We Dance, that I watched, listened to, as I painted. Richard Gere and Susan Saradan have been married for 19 years, he is an estate and will attorney and has been doing the same thing, year after year. Until one day, he decides to take dance lessons. But he doesn't tell his wife and she then suspects that her husband is having an affair. She hires a detective that tells her that he is just taking dance lessons and it doesn't seem to be anything more. They start talking about marriage and she asks the detective, "Why do people get married?"
He replies, "Passion?"
And then Susan Saradan says,
"No, because we need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet. What does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything, the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things,…all of it, all the time, everyday you're saying your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. You're life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness."
So, I have been a witness to this life for 24 years and with that, get to be a witness to our children's lives as well. Some days are good, some are bad, some days are snow-filled and some are sunny and 75. So even though I spent this weekend in the basement painting and doing mundane house stuff, I am so blessed to be a witness to it all.
We did book a spring break vacation though on Valentine's Day. I can't wait to be a witness to this beach!
There is another part in the movie when Richard Gere is narrating. He talks about his job as he neatly packages people's lives into a will...assets, debt, which kid gets what painting. He says when all the paperwork is done and everything is initialed and signed on the dotted line, people always ask the question, "Is that it?"
And he then replies, "As far as the paper work, the rest is up to you."