Today, the littles were playing outside in the yard. C came to the door, shouting about poop.
"You want me to help you clean up the dog poop, bud?" I asked.
"Yeah! Yeah! POOOOOP, Mama!" came the enthusiastic reply.
Laughing, I hauled myself outside.
My sweet, hilarious little 2 year old loves pointing out dog poop. It used to be our daily ritual, until I broke my leg 4 weeks ago. Now it happens... considerably less often.
But out he ran into the grass, ready for me to bring the rake and bucket. Who knew that I'd ever find cleaning up dog waste adorable?
"Righ' dere, Mama! Poop dere!" He exclaimed, running up to the first poop pile he found with determined elbows and marching knees, then shuffling his feet up as close to the poop as he could get, all while pointing emphatically. I noticed his shoes were on the wrong feet and smiled to myself.
After I raked up the first couple, he wove all around the far end of the yard, poop-hunting.
"Poooooop, are you?!" He hasn't learned to say 'where' yet. It's fantastic. "Ah HAH! Dere you are! Righ' dere, Mama! Yeah!"
He has such an earnest little face, this one. So sweet and so utterly unapologetic about his interests, even if one of them is picking up poop. Turning his face up to mine, he shrugs his little shoulders and lifts his hands into the air. "All done, Mama? No more poop?"
"I think we got it all, love. Thank you for your help!"
"Welcome!" I hear faintly on the breeze he leaves behind, as he's already running onto the patio to remind me where the bucket and rake belong.
I wish I could keep the sound of his darling toddler voice and funny words in my mind, but I know they'll fade. One day, all I'll have is this blog.
Future self: Today is just another day. A day in a long line of days during which I know all the following: My children are inescapably amazing. They are unerringly bright. But they're also challenging, as children are meant to be. Sometimes I get beyond my own ability to be reasonable, so how could I expect them to manage better than myself? Today is just another day. Work. Kids. Housework. Dinner. Bed. Rinse, repeat. Looking at my days that way doesn't tell the true story, though.
The magic is in the little things. In E's amazed discovery of a new nasturtium bud; in C's complete devotion to keeping the yard clear of dog poop. In E's pride over having helped sew her own Belle apron and wearing it over a blue dress so she looks just like Belle. In C's happiness over climbing out of the car by himself and touching the garage door remote to close it. In eating warm homemade banana bread fresh from the oven. In the joy my ridiculous children have when they learn we're to have grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner - again.
So I beg the universe again. Please let me keep this. Please let their places in my heart and mind live forever.
Let me keep the magic.