Rain is pounding on the roof, the light is gray, and all is quiet in my home, with Matthew sleeping and Chase gone for the weekend with his dad. I’m enjoying a large cup of coffee after sleeping a whole 8 hours, and contemplating my to do list. I yoga’d and took a long shower while listening to new music and watched a put off Livestream and read some articles online. . . I like the quiet. I love my alone time. Especially when it’s unrushed and without any specific agenda or intention.
The crazy needs to begin again soon though as I have a million things to do today before the big day tomorrow.
Tomorrow is Easter and it’s always an important day for me because Easter time was when dad got official full custody of Aaron and me. It was always like a mini Christmas for us because of this, with gifts of bikes and bunnies and so forth. Always one large item, several small inexpensive ones and loads of candy. I’ve carried the tradition on with my kids. I try to keep it spring related but there were a couple years where an electronic was the main gift. Last year was the basketball hoop, the year before that bikes. . . And as my children have grown, this year is bikes, too. I do a simple candy basket for brother with a couple small random inexpensive items as well, just to remind him that his sister loves him. With two kids I have to prioritize the expenses, and he understands. Brother and I know the meaning of the day, and that basket of junk food is just my way of saying ‘I remember what today means to us.’
This week was full with the kids being on Spring Break, and work – being off sick part of last week left me with a lot of catching up to do, and Saturday I had five yards of dirt delivered.
This years project is raised garden beds, so between rain showers I’ve moved a lot of fucking dirt. Plus the day to day. . . Tuesday evening I got all the beds finally full and planted some cool weather items – I already had peas and radishes and lettuce going, so I planted more. Plus strawberries and onions, carrots. I’m excited. I’ve busted my ass on this project, I’ve poured entirely too much money into it. And I’m not even done. . . Hopefully I get a fuckton of vegetables from it.
Anyway, that’s all just backstory.
I woke yesterday tired from the week, but had a mission for the day. Get the Easter Bikes purchased and home.
When I had Clarice, the boys bikes easily fit in the back for us to haul to and from wherever we wanted to take them. Scarlett isn’t so roomy. So I did some research and found a bike rack to attach to her to cart bikes around. Additionally, during talks of logistics Matt put in that I should get myself a bike so I could ride with them. I haven’t been on a bike in easily 15 to 20 years, but back when I was a teenager I roamed the gravel pits on my purple mountain bike, as fast as I could go. I loved riding my bike and Matt’s suggestion put images of family bike rides in my head.
So I searched Amazon and found a 3 bike rack. Ordered it, it arrived. I crossed my fingers that there was little to no assembly as I looked at the size of the box – I can do a lot of things, but I’m just no good at putting shit together.
I got off work yesterday and rushed home with the intention to install the bike rack and go buy some bikes.
I pulled it out of the box. Fully assembled. Woot.
That is until Matt and I went outside and attempted to attach it to my car. . .
After an hour of looking at instructions, watching videos, and cursing I gave up and decided to just send it back. The lady in the video attached it to her vehicle in less than a minute while her kids stood by watching, drove to the park in her mini van and happily unloaded the bikes by herself. All bullshit because real life doesn’t go that smoothly, but still. I just am not that woman.
I apologized to Matt for not being able to get the bikes, and we went to dinner and then out Easter shopping, trying to find something to substitute the bikes. I walked around the store with Matt, gazing longingly at the bikes as we walked by them . . . He pulled me away from them and attempted to distract me with other items, brightening my mood by being his amazing self. “Get this for Chase!” “Oh, Chase would love this!” “Mom. You have to get this for Chase.” Until I had many items for my little one and nothing for my Matthew but new shorts and candy and a new basketball. “but what about you, son?” “I’m good. I don’t need anything.” My selfless child. . . Sigh. “Let’s go to a different store. Maybe I can find something for you there.” I told him. We checked out and ran through the rain that had started while we were inside. After loading the back of Scarlett with Easter items, we sat waiting for the windows to unfog. And as the glass cleared, in front of us in the next row of parking spaces sat a replica of my first car, a little station wagon.
With the same bike rack on it that I had given up on.
“I see it. Let’s go look at it.”
So we drove over and stopped behind the car and I peered through my rain splattered window at the bike rack attached to this little car.
“I see how to do it now!” I exclaimed.
“Yeah,” Matt said, leaning forward to look closer.
Coincidence is a thing. But I think I have help sometimes. I think a higher power steps in to help me when I need it. What were the chances? This is a seemingly little thing, but I was so disappointed that I couldn’t provide this thing for my kids – more so in myself. I’m a determined individual. If I want something done, I do it. If I have a goal, I achieve it. Maybe not as quickly as I would like, but as a general rule I do whatever it is I want done. But this bike rack was beating me, and the answer appeared out of nowhere in the parking lot of Walmart in a down pour at 9 o’clock at night.
So we drove home, dried off the back of Scarlett, worked together to attach the bike rack, drove back to the store, bought the bikes, loaded them and drove home.
My kids will have bikes for Easter. We will be able to go on family bike rides. We will be able to enjoy the outdoors – fresh air and exercise for my hooligans and myself.
And all the while my Matthew was beside me. Through all of my frustration and disappointment, helping me with the physical aspects of the task as well as the emotional and mental aspects, cracking jokes and thinking of everyone else’s Easter and not his own. He’s definitely grown to be an amazing person, with years left of growing to do. My children are my best friends, each providing what I need to keep going in their own ways. Chase with his unconditional love and innocence, Matt with determination to match his mothers and jokes to keep everything in perspective. They’re just bikes. But it’s more than that. It’s a memorial to my dad, and new memories with my children.
I know life isn’t about material things – I’ve lived without material things and have wonderful memories with my kids while we went without.
But this time material things will help make memories, and I’m grateful for the hard times that make me grateful for the good times.
Happy Easter, y’all. And always, take a minute to be grateful for what you have.