on doing too much and not doing enough

I asked the boys what they wanted to eat and then filled a bowl with yogurt and berries for myself.  Quick to abandon cereal and milk, their open mouths surrounded me like little birds.  What kind of mother doesn't share her breakfast?  I nodded at their noses and held out the spoon.

They wrestled like furry puppies on the rug and drove miniature cars over piano keys all morning.  They emptied the toy cabinet and the game drawer, knocked into piles of folded laundry, dumped baskets of books, and it felt to me like time spilled across the floor too, rivulets pointing toward all the things that needed to be cleaned up and wrung out and redone.  What kind of mother resents all the effort?  I let them swim for several hours this afternoon, watched for their heads above water and faced mine toward the sun.

All four of us leaned back in the largest bed this evening, boys in pajamas with books in hand.  Tollie chose Brown Bear and Bus Stops, Tuck picked Little Blue Truck and Curious George.  We took turns reading before I closed the last book and called bedtime.  "Book, book" Tollie protested, with tears.  "What kind of parent says no to more books?" I wondered aloud.  "The kind who just read four," declared Andy.  My eyes connected with his and I knew he was right.

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