I was invited to co-present a panel on social media at the EngageHer conference in Berkeley today, and J. suggested that the whole family go along. This is something we've done ever since we first started dating. If one of us has an appointment or an engagement somewhere a little bit far away, the other drives, finds something to do for a few hours, then comes back for pick up. It started, I think, because back then we wanted to spend every minute we possibly could with each other, and after 15 years and two kids together, I am secretly thrilled every time J. suggests it.
He said he'd drop me off and then he would take the girls over to Fairyland and come pick me up when I was done. I wasn't sure what time the session would end so we arranged for a 12.30 PM pick up no matter what.
When my session was over, I was asked by the women from See Jane Do if they could interview me which meant that I needed to text J. and tell him not to pick me up until 1:00 to give us more time to get the filming done. He said not to worry, they'd grab lunch, hit a park, and then come get me.
When the interview finished, I rushed to meet my family. J. had texted to ask if I was ready. They were here. I spied the car across an expanse of green lawn and hurried towards it, but as I got closer, I noticed that no one was in it. A second later, as I rounded a group of scruby rhododendrons, I spied my adorable family sitting on a blanket having a picnic lunch in the sun. The scene took my breath away.
There is nothing in the world that makes me happier than seeing three bright, shining, squinting-in-the-sun faces grinning at me. Nothing that sounds better to my ears than a chorus of, "Mamma!!!'s"
J. looked at me and his smiling eyes spoke volumes. Our girls are magical. Our family is love. This we know a thousand times over.
J. handed me a sparkling lemonade and I sat down on the grass. Bunny offered me a bite of her artichoke fritter and, giggling, shared how Papa got her Aranciata open by prying the cap off on a street sign after trying several other unsuccessful methods. Wallie speared mozzarella balls and tomatoes with a fork and handed them to me while scrambling into my lap threatening to drip olive oil all over my skirt. But I didn't care.
I just wanted to sit in the sun and sip lemonade and listen to the stories of Fairyland and picking out lunch at the deli and deciding on where to have the picnic until I felt like I had been with them for three and half hours instead of apart.