“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone ” Joni Mitchell “Big Yellow Taxi”
If I could travel through time or space, I’d go back to winter 1985. It is early evening, a blustery Chicago winter is relentlessly tapping and banging against the livingroom window trying to get in.
The soft glow of the ceramic lamp warms the room as my Bentwood rocker creaks on the worn carpet. I glance down to see my month-old son, smelling sweetly of baby lotion wrapped in a Cookie Monster blue blanket sleeper. I softly hum the Kookaburra Song to him that I learned from my Grandma, patting his back while I rock.
Our older two sons hurry down the wooden stairs, bare feet slapping, clean wet hair still uncombed. My husband follows them down from their baths, bringing their bedtime books. The Grinch for my middleman, Shel Silverstein for the oldest. I rock the baby while their dad reads to the boys.
An ordinary day in our ordinary lives. But if I could go back for just one day I wouldn’t wish for bedtime to come, I’d read one more story and sing one more song.
I’m thankful now for my busy, happy life today. But the smell of baby lotion or the creak of a rocking chair takes me back when our family was young,to our extraordinary ordinary life.