I was talking to the dogs, or maybe the kids. I can’t remember.
There was the usual chaos that comes with bouncy dogs, kids infested with cabin fever, and a cranky mom who’d forgotten to eat. I checked their school lists and saw that some progress had been made, but more wouldn’t be made unless they both blew off some stink.
Before I could utter the suggestion, Jen looked at my face and calmly said, “Mom? If we promise to get back on our lists, can we head to the pond?”
“Please. Yes. Please go to the pond. Can you take the dogs with you?”
Immediately, the dogs picked up the clue. Even though they can’t see that the door is open for them to go in and out, they can sense an opportunity to frolic in the snow with the kids.
By the time the skates, shovel, mittens and hats were gathered, I had my coffee poured and was looking forward to a couple minutes of quiet time. They hollered, “See ya!” from the basement as they walked out the door. I hollered back, “Be careful!” to the sound of a slamming door.
I grabbed my mug and stood at the window to make sure the dogs were following, preparing myself to close the doggy door, just in case.
The sun caught the snow specks kicked up by the dogs, who were finally on their way to catch the kids. Two tall, gangly, happy spirits hiked through snow and sparkles on their way to the pond. The dogs tripped over themselves trying to nip at Will’s heels. Jen jumped to avoid being sniffed and covered in snow. A breeze must have lifted the loose blonde hairs around her face because I’d swear her charcoal knit hat reflected a warm glow. Will’s deliberate steps showed the relief he always feels once he steps outside.
Norman Rockwell must have witnessed scenes like this on a daily basis.
I turned to find a spot to read for a minute, and then I heard the voice.
Watch them walk all the way to the edge and down to the pond.
I felt myself involuntarily turn back around to look out the window.
This is a memory that you will treasure.
Don’t forget this moment.
Watch and record.
They dropped over the edge to find a path to the pond and, without turning around to look, Jen threw up her hand in a backwards wave, because she knew that I’d be watching.