a course of grace and havoc

Today was my husband's first day back to work in five days. Five days seemed like a decent period of time to have him stay at home when plans of his vacation only danced in future weeks on the calendar but in actuality (and as life so often does), the time flew by. Our days have been filled to the brim with activity, plans, heading here and there and to places that Ethan and I frequent on most weekdays that my husband has only been able to see in pictures. Of course, as his time at home dwindled down and his Blackberry began to ding with a slight influx in work related e-mails to signify the end of his vacation, my vulnerability was at an all-time high and I let my husband effortlessly convince me to get an iPhone. As we sat around the Barnes and Noble train table with Ethan on a particularly overcast Wednesday afternoon while my husband held the white box out to me with a big smile and a "...but I bought it for you," I tried to shield my desire to hide in the corner trembling with fear of this modern piece of technology and scream out that I've made a terrible mistake! But everyone convinced me to give it time and, really, time is all I can give this buzzing, beeping little piece of machinery that I don't yet speak the language of and hope that one day I can figure it out. I also made an Instagram, and I'd tell you to follow me but first I'd have to know how to tell you to do that and, well, Rome wasn't built in a day, people.

Of all the activities we managed to jam into five measly days, my favorite would have to be our random Tuesday evening picnic at the skate park. The skate park, of course, is Ethan's favorite place in the universe and it only seemed fitting to soak up the cool, breezy Florida evening on our salty, sandy beach blanket on a grassy hill under the lights. You know, enjoying the company of family (and the dinner I'd actually bothered to prepare for pretty much the only evening of my husband's vacation) to the soundtrack of Ethan's laughter and the sound of bike tires or skateboards slamming against the ramps and pavement.

It didn't matter that lasagna was an unlikely picnic food because, really, I was going to make it happen (and I did). Even if I clanked glass plates and cups of fruit closed with saran wrap and a prayer along in an Old Navy canvas tote bag or balanced a stainless steel thermos of water with a lid lost long ago, this picnic was going to happen. And it did, the weather cooperating beautifully with Ethan's intensifying asthma troubles and two might-as-well-be professional skaters showing off just feet from where Ethan stood at the fence.

As Ethan stood with fingers pointed and eyes aglow, my husband and I discussed Important Things, the kind of important things that should very much be discussed on a perfect sporadic evening picnic, like isn't Ethan the sweetest boy? and how much fun putting together his already fifteen minute birthday slideshow is. I mean, really, who wouldn't want to stare at a solid twenty minutes of varying photographs of Ethan? You know, important things like that, things that matter most on a beautiful March evening on a dirty blanket on itchy grass now coated in tomato sauce.

This morning Ethan and I left to meet my dad at Starbucks without my husband and with this, Ethan was confused. He ran back up the driveway to the front door three or four times while insisting that I seemed to have forgotten daddy before I managed to wrangle him in the carseat, trying to rationalize as best as I could that daddy had to go back to work today. It was a moment Ethan and I both dreaded all the same, daddy returning back to work to a schedule likely to become even more bogged down with business meetings and things as far from picnics at the skatepark as possible.

And much like coming back from a trip somewhere where your entire life existed from the depths of your suitcase and your quiet home is both foreign and comforting, we're trying to adjust to our regular schedule again.

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