I'm mostly at home, unconventionally educating my son, chasing the tot... always getting someone a snack, always taking on the Laundry Monster (whose hp continuously regenerates), forever picking up toys and putting them in bins, only to turn around and see that one kid or the other has dragged out 10 more.
Even as I sit on the couch to write, I have my daughter offering me toys, and she resorts to bellowing when I'm not interested in pushing the buttons on her pretend phone for the 100th time. She's so offended that I would want to carve out a few minutes to write or check my email or stare blankly off into space pondering how I can survive the crazy years with my sanity intact. She hands me the phone, again, and I push a button, again, and she giggles over the obnoxiously peppy music that erupts from the speaker. Again. She's heard that perky tune 101 times now in the last 10 minutes. Why is she still giggling? Why doesn't she throw down the toy in disgust and say she can't listen to it one more time without being committed to the looney bin? She holds some secret I've forgotten.
I realize that I want to learn from her, even as I constantly mold her young, forming mind. She's watching me -- brush my hair, cook dinner, read to her brother, scoop up handfuls of small wooden fruit and put them away in the small, pretend market basket. And I watch her -- tuck her favorite doll under her arm as she searches for a hair brush, stand at her play kitchen piling play dishes in the play sink, hold a book in front of her doll's face, tuck the pretend market basket in the cabinet where it belongs.
We do this every day. And it is spectacular. If I could freeze these moments, I would want to go back a hundred or more times to look at them, to remember with fondness the wonder of this experience. Even though the daily grind can get monotonous and tiresome in its tediousness, I'm encouraged to grind away at these beans anyway.
Because after all, every peppermint frappuccino started out as a handful of beans that needed a good grinding.