It's those moments that I am quiet and take a moment to just fully embrace the bliss that is this simple life of family and love.
Our story is no different from anyone else's. Our challenges and triumphs are repeated in families far and wide. However, the gift of little people is that ability to truly refine down that which really matters. In my version of the day, all the little annoyances, the negatives, the challenges are filtered through a heavy dose of humour and sunshine.
When I look at it that way, bliss is really simple.
It's deciding halfway through Friday, that it's the weekend and springing the kids early from school for a picnic. Is it all bliss? If you choose it, it is.
You can focus on the fact that surprising your autistic son at school for an impromptu picnic means dealing with the cyclical meltdown all the way to the preteen's school, which only intensifies when the preteen gets in the car and picks a fight. You could focus on the fact that as soon as you get to the river the sun disappears behind the clouds, which open up, and then spend the next 45 minutes fluctuating between sun and rain. You could, but you'd miss all the bliss.
You'd miss that moment when the eight year old remembered for the hundredth time, that surprises ARE good, or that moment when the boys forget to bicker and realize that they like each other.
You'd miss the moment when they realized that trying to take a picture of all of us together is hilarious.
You'd miss the laughter that comes when the rain falls again and we huddle together and try to pretend that it's sunny, or the squeal of joy to discover mom brought double chocolate cookies. You'd miss that moment when walking back, you see the boys enjoying each other, and big sister lovingly patting little sister on the head.
You'd miss that moment when the eight year old forgets that he didn't want to come and instead he falls back to grab your hand and say, "Thank you for taking us here. It was fun."
Moments like this, I will myself to take pictures with my mind. The kind of images that you can feel and smell and hear when you close your eyes at night. The kind of frozen moments that I can hold close when they are grown with babies of their own.
What will matter in 20 years, is remembering the soft deep single snore of a little girl laying next to you sleeping. It will matter that the eight year old came into our room again and fell asleep on me, his little body relaxing into a sound sleep. The laughter will matter. The picnics in the rain will matter. The 100th time we taught Graysen that surprises are great, will matter.
Everything else is just what tries to distract us from what matters.