Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Longing for Long Days

T onight I am so tired. I've had less than twelve hours of sleep from Sunday until now, and the rest of the week doesn't offer any opportunities for rest. I crawled under the covers at seven earlier tonight for a quick snooze, which went as fast as the nine minutes I get when I hit the snooze button on my alarm clock.

Max and Mitchell were dolls today until about four o'clock. The rest of the day brought new meaning to the "witching hour." Fortunately, we had already said goodbye to James at the checkout at Target, the groceries and unexpected purchases were loaded into the minivan, and we were safely, nearly home when the tired-boy-tirades began. Later, after a challenging end to the school day and a dinner that would have been entertaining if they had been someone else's kids, I listened to Mitchell fight valiantly for his cause -- we didn't know what his cause was -- while he brushed his teeth and watched Max finish his night in an exhausted, silly stupor, I thought, this is so hard.

Two hours later, the boys were sound asleep, Mitchell in his size six diapers -- even though he stays dry all night, every night -- and Max in his green army men boxers, surrounded by their beloved, miniature stuffed animals and panting dogs, and I had savored every second of my evening nap. I scanned through the A section of our local paper, my eyes still heavy. On the editorial page, I found an opinion piece written by one of my favorite national columnists, Leonard Pitts. His pieces are always thought-provoking and tonight's article about his daughter's high school graduation pulled hard on my heartstrings instead of tugging on my brain cells.

After I finished reading it, I knew that my recent long days weren't as hard as the long days Mr. Pitts and scores of other parents and friends have likely experienced in the past couple of weeks as they watch their babies don cap and gown and pose for starry-eyed pictures with the friends they have known for years. All of us wonder, where have the years gone? I know Mr. Pitts would give anything to fight about brushing teeth and finishing schoolwork again, and I know someday, hopefully for those same happy reasons, I will long for these long days again, too.

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