This morning in Minneapolis we expected to wake up to the unusual glow of spring sunlight bouncing off 3-9 inches of snow. But the branches were bare and crocuses bloomed despite dire predictions. I got up to make breakfast and cracked an egg into a blue bowl. Two yolks poured out of one shell. At the kids’ gymnastics school I went to pay my bill. Hallelujah; my account was paid in full. I smiled, embracing the unpredictability of this day.
I was not an ambitious mom this morning. I left the house with 2 kids and no snacks, each of them just barely fed and minimally dressed for the chill. We were late, we were crabby and we were hungry. We hit McDonald’s after tumbling class. I ordered chicken nuggets for my 2-year-old but had little hope he would be satisfied (fast-food is generally unpopular in my family). I had to pull over 10 minutes later to decipher the out-of-control screeching “caniavsom morkickin?!!?!” in the backseat. “Take your thumb out of your mouth and ask nicely, Wes.” He responded, “Can I have some more chicken inside-voice please?” I ended up at Burger King this time and 4 more nuggets down, he was still screeching,”caniavsom morkickin?!!?!” I drew the line at 2 stops and he fell asleep still crabby, still hungry.
Which brings me to the most predictable element of life with kids; sleep. If I stay up late the kids will get up early or puke in the middle of the night. If I go to bed early they will sleep in and I will wake up anxious at 4am. If I have something important to accomplish without my hands full that day the napper will not nap. If I have nothing on the agenda everyone will nap for 3 hours and I will panic; paralyzed by the possibility of wasting precious free-time! Sound familiar? But today, Wes napped peacefully, I accomplished things, and the big boys played nicely; there is no possible way I would have predicted that outcome for any given day.
Our last event of the day was Kindergarten Round-Up. Wilder, of whom you have read, was about 97% enthusiastic. My oldest has been in school for 3 years so I jumped in without forethought other than a little uncertainty about his readiness. Then I read his school supply list. Something about Wilder needing his own glue sticks grabbed my heart and squeezed. Simultaneously it was time for the yellow-sticker kids to go with the yellow-sign teacher. His eyes got a tiny glossy and he held his breath in an adorably determined way like a kid on the high dive. He went. He followed her. Lump in throat, grabbing the hand of his neighborhood buddy. He looked so little to be so brave and I had to hide my tears from him.
So after class time and a bus ride, I asked him what he would like to eat for a special celebratory dinner with mom. “Meat,” responded my kindergartner-of-largely-vegetarian-upbringing. We went out for his first steak. He dove into his summer homework packet while we waited–not predictable! He tried his first hearts of palm, first curry, first onion rings, first pierogies. He was voracious and adventurous and beaming. We “cheersed” with our drinks, our forks, and pierogies. He exclaimed “yehaa!” with a fist-pump. He thanked me for the haircut to get him ready for school today–I hadn’t made the connection. I offered a toast and he interrupted, “to King Wilder!” When we were done eating and toasting and snapping pictures of our wonderful dinner, he walked out of the restaurant in his socks. I laughed so hard I cried and told him, “Wilder; this has got to be one of the best nights of my life.” He said, “me too mommy,” with a kiss; a joyful outcome to an unambitious day.