I love taking the long way home from my husband's place of work. Instead of taking the straight shot up the main road, which takes exactly 7 minutes, I take the back road every chance I get. It is wind-y and unnecessarily long and I've developed an emotional attachment to the landscaping in several of the yards. Driving past feels something like visiting old friends-indulgent and comforting. It takes at least ten minutes, fifteen if I linger.
I love listening to Walker Cash's increasing ability to express his deep, inner thoughts. I love the way he often voices G in the place of D. ("Spigerman!") and overhearing him trying to convince Sissy to take him to school, adopting his older brother's life experiences to sway her, "I can go with you! I go-ed to kindergarten! I losed my teeth!" I love listening to him singing in the back seat: "5! Little monkeys! Jumpinonnabed! One felled off an bumped him head!" I love him.
I love that in forcing me to learn how to face paint and make balloon animals in my early teens, my mom gave me the skills to do something special for my middle kid, making him feel lucky and special even though the line at the Halloween party last week for balloon sculptures was too damned long. But, Mom? For the record? Clowning is still sucky and dumb. Pirate sword balloon anyone?
I love how independent Winter has gotten. Something has clicked for her and now she's laying out her clothes without being told, finding and turning in missing assignments without a word from me, setting her own alarm and getting herself out the door on time for the bus. I love that even now, now that the first revelation of parenting ("OMG, I can't believe how much I love her more every day!") is a distant memory, she still amazes me and inspires me and claims more of my heart. Every day. <3