The Space Between Storms

We were graced with a sunny day today, a respite between storms. Last night, the house shook and rattled with the force of the wind, the sound of the rain a relentless rushing chorus. I know it lasted all night because I was up all night reading. The book is finished now, The Da Vinci Code, after spending much of today reading it as well. I haven’t been sucked into a book like this for a long time, even Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince didn’t pull me in quite as thoroughly, only letting me go when it was done with me.

When I wasn’t reading, there was errand-running and a jaunt up to the park despite the stiff breeze that made things uncomfortably cool. With the sky so open and blue and the sun about and another storm threatening off the coast, I thought it was very important for us to get in as much fresh air as we possibly could.

The storm’s devastation was not severe around here, but it’s left its mark in a downed tree along the bike trail, the overrun banks of Grayson Creek and the swamp the sandbox at the playground has become. There were a few other kids at the park, one of them had sturdy rubber boots on and kept jumping into that swamp, hollering merrily and dredging it with a stick. Victor was irresistibly drawn into this activity, despite multiple warnings to stay away. He charged in with both feet, when I had my head turned for a moment to tend to Julien. His leap into the swamp cut our park visit short – I had no extra shoes for him and I poured a cup of water out of each sneaker when I pulled them off his feet. There were warm socks and dry pants in the diaper bag for him, fortunately, but he cried all the way home because I wouldn’t let him run around the park in his stocking feet.

I have a picture I took today, still sitting on the camera’s flash card, of him fast asleep in the stroller that he refused to get out of once we reached home. He wanted to go back outside, apparently as hungry for sunshine and fresh air as I was, so I just wheeled the stroller out and left it just outside the front door. When I poked my head out five minutes later to check on him, he was asleep. I covered him up with handmade blankets that friends sent, to keep him warm in the wintery chill until the sun started to slip away over the horizon.

I brought him back inside just as Julien fell asleep for a nap himself, and I joined them, curling up on the couch to doze for a little while and rest myself in this little bit of space left between storms. It’s not just the very real storms that are coming see, it’s also my vacation that’s coming to an end. The house is still not in the shape that I’d like it to be, but in the end it doesn’t matter. Spending the day taking it easy with my boys seems a far more fitting way to welcome in the new year.

In a little while, I’ll crack open our tiny bottle of champagne and pour it into some wineglasses and wait by the window for Sabs to come home. It’s unlikely he’ll make it for midnight, but I’m hoping we can still have a nice, quiet late night toast and wrap up 2005 in a bow and stick it up on the shelf for a while as we move on into 2006.