Sometimes Darin has band practice and it is just me home at bedtime with both girls. Although it can be trying, since each babe requires pretty much full undivided attention to get to sleep, it is also the best feeling on earth to me to get them cuddled around me at the end of a long busy day, safe and snug in our bed, and breathe and sleep together peacefully.
Last night, oh-so-late, after Cozmic Cafe's Night-After-Thanksgiving show at which Darin played and to which I brought my two babies, risking looks of horror and disbelief, and danced the night away, it was finally time to go to sleep in bed. Polly on my left and Lucy on my right, in their fleecy footed jammies. Polly likes to have her legs propped up on my hip or legs, and was already sleeping like a tiny log, now that she's totally walking and also finally cutting a tooth she has been sleeping a little better, and Lucy snuggling up to my arm (she still calls it ba) and finally giving in the the little elves of sleep, making the sweet whisper mouth noises she makes right as she finally lets go. Our cats are close by too, purring in the dark room, and our daddy will be home soon, full of quiet laughter and tales to tell. I pretend we are on a little boat, sailing through some inter-dimensional moonlit universal plane, (not unlike the magical bed traveling scenes in Bedknobs and Broomsticks) with colorful stardust, memories and love surrounding us, it is bigger and wilder than us or anything we know, and yet we are completely safe.
Scenes from the day replay in my mind, and it is moments like this that I have a strong urge to turn on the light and write down every single tiny thing I can remember, every funny thing Lucy says or surprising word she made up, every dance move and look of delight that Polly gives, every nice thing that happens to me, and even the frustrating ones. I want to write down about Joey's deliciously rich mashed potatoes, and how everyone was so tired, but they all wanted to help me clean up, and how Scout gives these sweet drooly kisses with plenty of tongue involved, and how Em can laugh at herself better than anyone I've ever known, and how proud Addie was of her gorgeous vintage cape, and how Utah goes around calling "tootie!" wanting to play, and how Art gets totally into the game we are playing and spontaneously rhymes words like a champ, and how we drank champagne together and told our own versions of prayers.
But instead I cuddle around my sleeping daughters, a mama polar bear with her cubs, let the cold night swirl outside my window, hear my own heart beat, hear it slowly soften, feel the excitement and the tensions and my own sometimes overbearing energy finally tilting into the darkness headlong, waning, waning, and I tuck it all into bed snugly inside my chest and take one more breath and fall asleep.
For most of Thanksgiving day it was just the four of us hanging out. I was busy in the kitchen, Darin and the girls played. here I am in the morning starting my first pumpkin pie, using my mom's pie crust recipe written in an old journal.
it was the first year i made little place settings for everyone. it was the first year i had interest in a "tablescape." (is this social media's influence? or just an honest yearning for prettiness as I grow older?) then i realized how fancy matching dishes do not and will never fit my personal aesthetic and that all i really wanted to do was to tie together my own things in a rustic, bohemian looking tabletop that looks friendly and welcoming and hearty.
it was such a beautiful day; we took a nice little retreat outside to play awhile.
Darin helped me cut up butternut squash, not a job I relish!
The afternoon's activity.
And then everybody arrived, a little after 5 pm, to start our evening's feasting! This year we had a fairly small group as far as Beattys go: Addie and Art with Utah, Joey and Em with Scout, and us.
All four of the littlest Beatty-Spring clan.
I don't have a good food photo but I will say this: I attempted two salads that were out of the ordinary for me. This and this. On top of pumpkin pie, two Tofurkeys with carrots and potatoes, stuffing, and fresh lemonade, it was a lot of work, but I think they were well worth it. That kale-brussel sprout one especially, good lord, with those candied pecans! Holiday feast perfection.
Joey made homemade rolls and his mashed potatoes, Addie and Art made brussel sprouts and she brought her two kinds of cranberries: traditional tart cranberry sauce and spicy. Yummmmmm. Plus an assortment of beers and champagne. We dined wonderfully well.
As spirited and excitable as my two little ones are, I am still looking forward to my most peaceful holiday season yet. I can feel it in my bones. I get pure comfort from this season, at once familiar and exhilarating, full of family visits, baking, and music. I wish beyond the stars that everyone on earth could feel that way, though I know the holidays leave so many feeling glum, so I can only hope that some interwoven intangible goodness is created and let loose upon the world by our individual moments of peace, joy and merrymaking.