It makes my heart skip every time I look up and see the boys busily happy and getting along well with each other or playing with their dad. And when they suddenly have a bright idea and come running to us with requests for help. I try my hardest to oblige and not stomp on their enthusiasm even if, to me, it doesn't feel like the right time to break out the glitter glue or make scrambled eggs! One of my favourite times of each day is lying in bed in the morning and listening to the boys playing and speaking kindly to each other. (They seem to be most tolerant and kind in the first hour of each day.)
Although these are the moments I want to remember, it's not all peaceful and beautiful- we've had our fair share of bickering kids, grumpy parenting, protests over outdoor clothing or whingeing when screen time is refused. But these days the bickering is mercifully minor, I suppose because in general we have slowed down enough to release some of the stress and tension that had been building up throughout the year. We're looking after ourselves and each other much better and there is a lot more patience kicking around.
Brendan's plan for today is "colouring, playmobil, outside, colouring, playmobil, outside..." Although he has just spent half an hour writing invititations to his birthday party and has run upstairs to get dressed so that he can go and deliver them. So I'll post this now, with a few photos from the last few days.