leaf splashing

i had a day this week. it was tuesday. it was long.
the 5 previous days had been filled with all kinds of super amazing and i was super amazingly tired.
it was 5:30. dinner was over, and the boys were rammy. jumping-off-the-walls rammy. they had asked me 5 times to go outside and race. i kept thinking of reasons i could stay inside and collapse on the couch and hope someone else would be fun and happy for them. after getting poked numerous times while laying on the couch, i gave in. we headed out and i plopped on the steps and watched them run sprints.
every 2 laps, they begged me in their cutie tootie voices to join them. to see how much faster they had gotten. to watch how high they could jump and to check out the caterpillar they had just found.
but i sat.
i told them mommy needs a few minuets to rest.
i said that at least 5 times.

clint came outside. i think he knew it was an evening that called for something new and special. he knew the boys needed something to occupy them and i needed something to occupy them.

before i knew it, he strapped on a leaf blower backpack and began building the worlds largest leaf pile.
it was as if the leaves blew rejuvenation into the air. among the delight and squeals and the delicatee swirls of fall goodness, something inside of me changed. i softened.

i could sit and watch and be a grump, or i could play.
i peeled my tush off of those stairs, mustered enough momentum to spur my legs forward and ran for the leaves.
a lot of laughter and leaf splashing followed.

i think these are some of my favorite photos of all time.
because i know the mood. it was one of the most delightful evenings. i know my pure joy at seeing my kids revel in something so simple and find so much gusto and fervor for life that they can inspire a very exhausted and gumpy mom to fluff up some leaves and skip around as if i were 4 years old again.

yes, raising kids can be exhausting.
ok, life can be exhausting.

but in the midst of what could be a tiny moment to sit and watch life pass by, my kids remind me that even in my most exhausted moments, i can find my gusto for life. i can find the strength to laugh. kick it up in the leaves. to not leave anything unfelt on the table. to feel and taste and get the most out of our moments.

last night, i let the kids stay up late. we wrestled and played escape from the giant spider and daddy watched the phillies and assisted in encouraging the kids to tickle my feet in order to escape from my spider grasp. we laughed. i mean really laughed, not the fake kind.
i tucked them into bed knowing i had given them my best, in the midst of the life and kids that can be exhaustively fun. not in spite of the exhausting, but in the midst. it's still there...the life and the stress and the big stuff that can weigh my spirit down. in the midst of that, there is still joy. bright, shining, in the midst of the everyday mundane, joy. my kids continually teach me what it means to be a friend. to love no matter what. to discover something new in all the things everyone passes by. to find out who you are when you don't feel like finding out. to delight in things like swirling leaves and giant wrestling spiders.


  1. I needed this post...thank you dear!

  2. Once again, beautiful post! I love your writing!



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