From The Archives: Community
The dining table was littered with coffee cups full of varying amounts of coffee. The mugs ranged from empty to only a sip or two missing: undoubtedly left to grow cold to tend to a child.
The floor was scattered with sippy cups of various brands filled with juice, water, and milk. Each table in the living room had either a snack made for little mouths, left half-eaten, a nursing cover, or a bottle of formula. The area rug strewn with puffs and dry cereal mashed; a vacuum would run later when little eyes were open.
A trip down the hall indicated sleeping littles, sound machines running in each room as DNA copies of those talking in the front room slept. Tiny ones in pack n’ plays. Bigger tiny ones on mattresses.
Dads spoke quietly; an occasional burst of laughter or excited talking drew a “Too loud” whisper from a mom. She and the others made empty threats that she would not be the one to put a crying baby back to sleep.
Toy Story was taken out of the DVD player and exchanged for a more grown-up movie. Some sat riveted, some read books, and some talked quietly. No mom made it to the ending credits, picked off one by one by heavy eyelids. Each day ended in exhaustion but no one minded. The days are long, but the years are truly short. Everyone realized they would look back on these days and long for them. This trip taken each year when summer turns to fall, babies turn to toddlers, and toddlers turn to preschoolers. In an ode to Andy Bernard, everyone made the realization that weekend that those were the good old days.
The day had consisted of crying kids, thrown off of nap schedules, trips to the fishing hole, walks, pushing strollers, and fish caught with new rods and reels. Honest conversations were had about faith, struggles, postpartum depression, and future children. The bigs had the littles outnumbered this year 6-4. Would it change the following?
Tomorrow would be a dip in the river, more fishing, rock skipping, or if you were under 5, rock throwing & if you were under a year, rock eating.
Tonight had been steak and peppers, the following would be burgers, the next, tacos. There was talk of quiche to come and maybe pancakes.
Kids were disciplined, snuggled, played with, and fed. All by joint effort. They say we're made for community and I believe it now more than ever.