Saturday, Husband and I took the girls to Turtle Pond in Central Park. Because of busy schedules and bad weather, we hadn't been there in a while and as soon as we settled in on our picnic blanket, I felt my smile come. My big, surrender smile. My happy-as-can-be smile.
We brought bagels. Juice and milk boxes for the kids. Coffee for us parents. We bought a delectable waffle at the waffle truck parked nearby. We sat together and nibbled on our goodies, but before long, the girls were off. They clustered with some other kids to look over the fence at a particularly friendly Canada Goose.
The picked a lucky tree and ran circles around it. I hung back and snapped away, at the blur of my babies going round and round. Big Girl and Middle Girl have been picking matching outfits every Saturday morning and this time, they were studies in yellow and green, and they blended, and beautifully, with the backdrop. Their little sis, dressed by mom, kept up just fine.
You guys, they were so happy, so free. They frolicked, hair swinging and tangled, smiles enormous.
Husband and I hung back, on our blanket, on our little plot of earth, and watched them. He and I took turns shuttling Little Girl to the potty which was a way's away. She refused to use the portable potty we brought.
It struck me then, and it strikes me now, how perfect Saturday morning was. I will be the first to admit that adulthood is a tricky thing, a world riddled with complexity and effort and exhaustion. But that morning? It was sweet and simple and green and good.
It was a morning where we were able to sit and savor and breathe and be. Where our little girls didn't need to behave, but were free to chase each other and laugh loudly and be the silly and incredible little creatures they are.
On the way home, we stopped at the dock and looked over the railings into the water. And there they were, countless little turtles, shells peeking from the surface, saying hello. Oh, how the girls smiled.
And their smiles become our smiles, don't they?
On the way home, we walked along a path and the girls veered right, took a sudden detour. They gathered around another tree, and began to climb it. They lost themselves in laughter and put on a show of silly faces and poses. We took a million pictures.
I will remember this morning. This simple Saturday morning in the middle of May. Really, there was nothing unique or spectacular about it. It was basic and beautiful, a humble stretch of time, but maybe that's what was so lovely and jarring about it. That it was so profound in its purity. So small. So unsullied. So innocent. So ours.
Some things are complicated.
Some things are not.
Do you and yours have a happy place? Have you been overcome with simple family moments? What in your life is complicated and what is not?