Working from home means I don’t always leave my house during the day. I wish I could say I took daily walks outside (I always mean to), but I don’t. Sometimes I get out for a run before my husband leaves for work, but it’s barely light out at that time, and it doesn’t have the same effect as sunshine (I can’t knock the fresh air or the way the morning sky makes me feel though!). All this to say, some days I don’t know just how cold or warm the day is.
I was pleasantly surprised tonight when I left with the kids for Riley’s dance class, followed by an impromptu ice cream outing with my in-laws. New Jersey is expecting up to 10 inches of snow tonight whereas we sat outside at Birkdale Village and ate ice cream. Walking outside tonight was like a crazy time warp. It truly felt like a cool summer night (not that we have many of those here), the kind I have always loved. I used to love those summer nights that had just a tiny bit of chill to them, enough to throw on cheerleading shorts and a sweatshirt to run around with my friends in. It’s surprising how the senses can play tricks on you and bring memories shooting to the forefront of your mind. Different sounds can throw you back to a school dance, a drive to the beach, the sounds of a morning cup of coffee on your brand-new porch. The taste of your father-in-law’s sauce reminds you of the safety and love that has engulfed you even since before your last name changed. A whiff of old perfume can take you back in time to your first pregnancy, a blueberry scone Yankee Candle to the first apartment you shared with your husband, the smell of a baby’s head…self-explanatory. Weirdly enough, my all-time favorite smells are my babies’ breath. When they’re infants their certain smell mixes with the first breastmilk smell, and while it sounds repulsive, it’s a scent all their own, completely exclusive to those first months of their life. Every now and then, Sawyer’s comes back somehow. Maybe it’s just my mind playing a trick on me, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
Stepping outside into the crisp but warm night air, days clearly growing longer as even Riley said, “But Mama it’s not time for dance yet…it’s not dark out!” felt optimistic. Winter already falling away and summer getting closer has a hopeful tone to it, and I can’t wait to indulge Riley and Sawyer when they want to go for walks or ask my in-laws to go in the pool or take a ride on their boat. The unprecedented joy I felt walking out into the fading light this evening reminded me to do it more often, especially now that the days ARE growing. Family walks in the evening light sounds like the perfect end to long and happy days.