Pizza Night

by Ginger on October 7, 2011

in Mom Thoughts

mom-and-kid-out-to-pizza

I’m never the one in front of the camera. Or if I am, then I hate the way I look. In a land of digital photos, it’s entirely too easy to delete myself out of the entirety of our family life.

But sometimes the stars align and a little boy sits next to me at a pizza joint (on the bench! No highchair!), and we giggle and laugh and point out the difference between baseball and football on the tv screens in front of us, and N.C. pulls out the camera just in time to catch us both. Granted, we’re both chowing down, but hey, you take what you can get, huh?

*****

I love little moments like that one. We went to get pizza because…well, there was no food in the house and we were being lazy. We picked Jackson up from daycare and went straight to this new little place by us, and split a pizza between the three of us. They didn’t have high chairs, so Jackson got to sit on the bench like a big boy for the first time. After sliding off the slippery leather once or twice, he got the hang of it and sat in his big boy seat like a champ. He drank his water from a regular cup with a regular straw and ate his slice of pizza like a big kid.

It astounds me sometimes that he’s growing so fast. How is he big enough to sit in a seat next to me at a restaurant?

*****

I feel spread really thin lately. I’ve been on edge and struggling with stress, frustration, and a whole lot of other inner emotional turmoil. It doesn’t make me the best wife, or the best mom (or the best anything, really). And, you know, when you’re on the edge, a toddler seems to be just the right height to push you over it, what with the tantrums and the hitting and the mood swings.

But that same toddler can also push you back to the calmer side too. With the giggles and the language explosion and the cuddles and the hugs, sometimes I just look at my kid and think “If I could just bottle that JOY right there…it would be more powerful than any drug out there.”

*****

The pizza day from this picture was a rough one for me. I spent the entire day teetering between sobbing and screaming (I’m going to blame PMS, a couple of crummy situations at work, and lack of sleep). But then I pick Jackson up from daycare and he screams “MOMMA” with such forceful joy at seeing me and my mood starts to break. We hold hands on the way to the car and a few more of the black clouds dissipate. And then we sit, side by side at a pizza joint, and the last of the darkness retreats. I’m laughing, he’s laughing, N.C.’s laughing. It’s just a few minutes, but I feel myself relaxing, really relaxing, with my family. And while there are tantrums that will come (oh too soon!), and a bedtime to struggle through, and all the mercurial nature of a toddler to deal with, for an hour we’re giggling and pointing and laughing, and I’m happy.

So yeah, I’ll take those photos please. I may not look my best, they may not be the highest quality, capturing the perfect moments…but I was happy and calm and exactly where I wanted to be for the first time all day.

Lex October 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Awww, you guys look so adorable! I totally hear you about the frustration and the tantrums and then the good moments with the snuggly giggles. It’s pretty amazing how that happens, really… :/

Deep breaths and all that jazz. And then, when bedtime comes… BOOZE.

(Totally unrelated, Munchkin sauntered up, saw the pics of you guys, pointed at Jackson, and said, “Hey, that’s ME!!” I reckon it’s the curls…)

Ginger October 11, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Ahhh, how cute is that?

clara October 7, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I love this post. There is something about a little person sitting in a big seat that is really compelling, right? Like, you used to be a blob, dude!

And you will totally come back to this post in a couple of years and go awwwww oh my GOD look how far we’ve come.

(because my comment on your last post wasn’t long enough! so I am leaving more!)

Ginger October 11, 2011 at 9:26 pm

It was pretty freakin’ adorable to see him swallowed up by the big seat, with his little legs barely hanging off the edge. If ever I needed a reminder that he’s still a small dude even if he’s growing up fast…

Megan October 7, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I’ve missed your blog (and our chats!) since I’ve been absent from the internet. I am glad that I had this post to come back to. Totally relatable and totally adorable pictures.

This week has been kind of awful, but I had one of these moments just sharing some popcorn at Target with Charlotte the other day, giggling and talking. It’s just the best. And you captured it beautifully.

Ginger October 11, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Sometimes it’s those “normal” moments that really are my favorite. The one’s that just don’t look like much from the outside? They can be so awesome…

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks October 12, 2011 at 11:30 am

I love these photos! Such a huge part of our daily lives involve the little, mundane things … the things that make our worlds rock … I love that you’re documenting these moments!

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