I was melted into the heated passenger seat of my car as my husband drove our little family to the grocery store.
It was late—after dinner—and the darkness was lessened by the twinkling shop lights and the neon store signs. We never go out at night like this, unless you count the occasional, short drive to look at Christmas lights in nearby neighborhoods.
Still, for the first time since the rush of fussy kids and a semi-chaotic dinner—the “usual” for families with children under five, when everyone has had a long day—my husband and I sat in the car, with Bing Crosby singing to my kids through the car speakers, and we had a mellow silence that easily could have been filled with the catching-up of our days.
I normally give a play-by-play—those little “nothings” that make a day unique, especially for a parent who was at work and not constantly with our daughters, like I am.
I’ll tell him things like how our 5-year-old went up to another child at the gym after her gymnastics session and introduced herself using her full name. I’ll tell him, too, that the baby happily waved at the bus when she saw it pull up to drop her big sister off at the edge of our stone country driveway, or that this Christmas present arrived, but that one still hasn’t been delivered.
This particular night, though, I found myself comforted by the warmth of the passenger seat, and the crooning of a long-familiar holiday classic, and I realized that I could never truly give him a play-by-play.
I could never fully describe how I felt when the bus pulled up, and the baby waved, ecstatic her sister was home, or how delightfully shocked our oldest was when I told her later of the surprise that we were spending the rest of our afternoon at the zoo.
I couldn’t tell him either how sincerely adorable it was, when our daughters thought I wasn’t looking, and our oldest tried to blow raspberries on the baby’s belly, or how their giggling was more melodic than the Christmas carol we were listening to.
I can’t give a proper description of how my heart melts over a hundred times a day, at things like little-girl kisses for no reason that catch me by surprise as I clean up after lunch, and from, essentially, weaving my days in with our children’s earliest memories and lives.
I don’t need to tell my husband some things.
He understands me and parenting well enough to know that I saw the chiropractor this morning because my small frame is taxed each day with caring for kids and by the chronic stress of daily life. He knows, for instance, that I practically threw the kids at him after pecking him on his cheek when he walked through the door, because I needed to run away to my yoga mat for some space; for the “me” that exists, buried, underneath my “Mommy” role. He already knows that our children are the best blessings of our lives and, equally, that they grow and change and evolve at that lightening-speed of childhood.
There are no play-by-plays when raising children, but I will always try to convey—at least in fractions—this love that I’m fortunate to experience.