You had the best idea today.
I wanted to conquer the shoe shopping, grab some lunch, conquer some gardening shopping, get home and crawl back into my sick bed in the hopes that tomorrow I might have the energy to get out into my garden.
But you knew best.
It was supposed to rain today but it didn't. Not a cloud in the sky. And I should have stayed in bed, head full of cold and not much sleep last night. But I didn't.
The shoe shopping had to be done. Monday morning, the first day back at school, Violet demonstrated the flapping soles on her shoes for me. Nice. First day back at school. We'd had two weeks to buys shoes, if only I had known. You said to me, "I can buy her some shoes on Monday after work" to which I shook my head. School shoes must be tried on and in this situation, a mother knows best. So we all went in together and made an outing of it. Your idea. And I agreed.
Because in almost every other situation, you know best.
You asked Sam to choose our lunch destination, knowing he was a boy of good taste. Subway sandwiches for all, but I slipped away to pick up a grande caramel machiatto with an extra shot from a cafe not far away. I trudged back, my energy fading, but the coffee starting to work its magic.
Meanwhile the sun shone gloriously. Shoppers wore their shades on Devon Street and there was not a puffa jacket in sight. It was not a day to be sick in bed.
And so on the way home I suggested we stop at the Garden Centre, in the hope that this beautiful day would stretch into another and that I might have more energy to plant some things then. You asked the kids what they thought of my idea and we were met with a resounding no. You knew that would happen. I didn't mind.
But you stopped somewhere else. You took us to one of our magic places, a park by the river. It's been awhile since we've stopped there, but Sam at least had a glimmer of recognition and remembrance. We explained to him that we used to bring him here as a baby and took photos of him with the river in the background. It's always been a special spot.
The girls loved the big oak trees and scavenged in the ground to collect acorns. Then you led us down to the river, out of earshot from the highway traffic above. All we could hear were the tui in the trees and the river flowing quickly over the rocks.
Photos were taken and then you took the kids on a bush adventure, allowing me some time to myself.
Time to myself lying on a rug on the sand in the sun by the river. It just doesn't get any better than that. Unless perhaps if I'd had my book. Instead I rested and prayed and soaked up the moment and willed the sun to heal my chest, my head, my body, my soul.
Then you came back with our fair explorers and lay down beside me on the rug, offering your arm to cushion my head. The children played on the rocks and Sam took his role as "chief lifeguard" very seriously, perching himself up high in order to watch for any wayward sisters slipping into the water.
We shut our eyes together.
But then we realised what an opportunity we were missing, an opportunity to watch our beautiful kiddios and all the fun they were creating for themselves. So we sat up and looked, me leaning against the solid strength of your body. They made boats out of leaves, threw rocks into the river, smashed acorns and onion weed bulbs pretending to be cooking a magic potion, and built volcanoes with tunnels running through them. They stripped off their socks and tights, tested the water and sent their little boats off downstream, watching how far they would get before being tipped by the current.
Finally, our water bottle empty and four kiddios hot and thirsty, you said it was time to go. We drove home content and yes, a little bit healed.
You had the best idea today. And I love you for it.