For someone whose life has been a crazy mess of traveling and running here and there, I have developed a cherished ritual that involves my youngest child...a twice-daily task that I now relish as a highlight of my day.
If there is one thing that you would not expect a frequent traveler to do, it's to go out and invest in live flora and fauna to care for. But that's exactly what I did this summer. Not only did we surround the deck with notoriously-hard-to-care-for rose bushes, but I added pots and planters of various sizes all around the deck and the front porch. It always makes me happy to come home and see the bursts of color that my new flower friends provide.
But, I am in a fierce battle against the sweltering heat of summertime. Thus, I water. I water those suckers religiously. That's where my new ritual comes in.
You see, I have a water baby. Jacob "H2O" Bodiford is enamoured by my water hose. To him, it is not simply a vehicle for transferring water from house to plant. Oh no. It is a Marvelous Magical Mystery Wand spewing forth drops of sparkling aqua goodness and he is hooked. If I am in a hurry, I try to be discreet and sneak out before he sees me but I've never--not once--eluded his keen eye.
"I wa-duh da bowers, Momma! I wa-duh da bowers!!!!" he screams as he drops whatever may be in his hands at the time. Tonight, it was a Hot Wheels race track. I smile as I watch him come tearing through the back door towards the back yard hose. "My turn!" he shouts, "Myyyyy turn, Mommy!!"
And so it goes.
Our ritual includes the flowers out back as well as hanging baskets by the driveway and four planters out front. Tonight was especially relaxing to me. I had handed off the hose for him to finish up the front "bowers" as he calls them... and I looked up to see a full moon over the hills to the east. The crickets were singing their usual song to us as hundred of fireflies glittered the front sloping hill of our yard. As Jacob swung the hose to and fro, the lights on the front of the house created a shadowy backdrop featuring silhouettes of the rocking chairs, the taller plants as well as my child who was content as a toddler can be.
That's when it struck me. Traveling and hotel-ing and seeing different parts of the world definitely helps break up the monotony of a work week. And I will not lie and say that, although it gets old, a night in a hotel with no laundry to do and no bathrooms to clean can sometimes be a treat. But standing on the front steps tonight under the soft glow of moonlight, I realized that no million-dollar hotel view can match the glorious sound of a 2-year old giggling as he waters a pot of flowers with his Mommy. With the hose going every which-a-way (including across both legs of my now-drenched pants), I smile in the warm darkness soaking in what has quickly become a favorite part of my day.
Because I know that one day all too soon, I will not hear the pitter patter of little feet running to help me do such a mundane chore. And "wa-during da bowers" will never be the same....