Then reality struck.
The high pitched ear piercing shrill sound that my 4 year old emitted nearly knocked me out of my chair like a bolt of lightening from the heavens above! "That is MIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNEEEEEEE!" he shrieked. "NO IT ISN'T!!" shouted Turner in a low but loud, growling tone. Before I could even lift my body off the chair only 8 feet away they had gone to blows.
Fists flying, karate chops making contact, feet thrust into the air in attempted ninja kicks. It's all about marking ones territory. Items, things, chairs, cups, the place at the dinner table, blankets, toys, you name it and they fight over it.
As I tried to pull one off of the other and attempted to explain for the 348,987,000,000th time that we do not solve problems by hitting, kicking, punching and yelling, someone was already wailing.
Tears. They can flow like rain. Flooding down the cheeks spilling onto a clean cotton tee. Then comes the double nostril snot flow. As quick as the tears come and snot flows I see my 4 year old grabbing his clean tee shirt to quickly remedy the torrential flow of facial fluids. "NOOOOO not on your SHIRT!" I moan.
It had taken me quite a time to get both of them out of bed, fed and dressed for the day. Just finding CLEAN clothes was a task. Now - he has managed to soil his only clean shirt. Oh well. Boys will be boys I shrug.
I try to redirect them, separate them and take the toy that caused all the ruckus away. Do I dare return to the porch to bask in the sun's glow? I ponder the tempting thought momentarily. The boys seem settled for the moment. One playing legos, one coloring at the kitchen table. I can see both of them if I leave the front door open. I decide to return to my place of refuge to soak up a few more rays of sun before tackling the rest of the tasks for the day.
I warn them both - that there is to be NO FIGHTING or they lose a marble. They each have chores and earn one marble for each chore. If they are naughty they get one taken away. They have to collect 15 marbles to earn a treat.
"HA! That did it..." I thought. I returned to the porch and sat once again. It was not quite the same this time. I took a few deep breaths and closed my eyes. I thought of the upcoming summer weather (the warm stuff) and planned days frolicking at the beach. Feeling myself relax once again, it felt so . . . nice.
As I was deep in thought, it came. Out of nowhere. I felt something hit my face with force. Before I could realize what had happened I thought it was a leaf. We have a huge tall tree that overshadows our apartment. The leaves fall all day and night. I reached up in a flash to bat the "leaf" off of my face opening my eyes. As my eyes crossed trying to focus on this "leaf" I noted quickly that it had eyes and legs! I let out a scream that could curdle ones blood. Both boys came running. As they saw me jumping about trying to ascertain what in the world landed on my face, Trevan spotted it. He then started jumping up and down screaming and shaking. He is terribly afraid of bugs.
All the yelling, screeching and jumping about got the attention of the lawn maintenance workers down below. One of the men ran up my stairs to see what the commotion was all about. As we crouched and inspected this unwanted intruder we were all enthralled. I am sure we scared it as much as it scared us.
"What is it mom?!!" yelled one. "Smash him!" yelled the other. "No - it is a praying mantis like on Kung Fu Panda" - I retorted. "He must have heard you two fighting and flew in to see why you were acting so ugly!" I told them. "Well get it outta here - HE is ugly!!" screamed Trevan.
"He is wise. He will leave when he has a place to go!" said Turner. With that I went in to get my camera and take some photos of this - unwanted guest.
We do not get to see all of God's creatures up close and personal like this. I wanted the kids to be able to really check him out after he had gone.
After things settled a bit - and we had taken Mr. Mantis' portrait, we all sat and just watched him.
I then saw them. They both turned their faces one after the other just as I had done, upward towards the sun. They both closed their eyes and froze there, soaking up the warm rays of golden sunshine. It was only seconds - perhaps shy of a minute, but I took the opportunity to do it too. As our silence was broken - Trevan said "Wow - it is such a beautiful day today - isn't it Mom?" Although my moments may be few - I enjoy them as they come. I would not want to miss any of them.
"Indeed it is baby!" I told him "Indeed it is!"
Life is not the amount of Breaths you Take. It's the Moments that Take your Breath Away. Alex Hitchins