Nights Like These

“Are we going swimming?”

“Are we going swimming?”


“Are we going swimming?”

That’s what I hear as I open the door from the garage and look for a safe area to place my briefcase. But first I must make my way through the obstacle course of crayons, book bags, and rain boots my kids have designed for me.

And in case I didn’t hear him the first three times, Lincoln reminds me that tonight is the night I promised to take him swimming.

Only I don’t remember making that promise.

Then again, I don’t remember much that takes place from the time I come through the door to the time the kids head to bed. It’s one big blur.

The kids want to share what they learned at school. That involves each of them trying to talk over one another until my ears are ringing. Yesterday, Lincoln made me…something. It’s odd shaped, colorful and, according to Lincoln, would look great in my office. At first sight, I thought it was an Indian chief or Aztec art. If coworkers ask, I’ll tell them it’s Lady Gaga.

Eventually we end up at the dinner table where I select someone who isn’t inhaling a dinner roll or guzzling lemonade to give the prayer. On special occasions the food gets blessed. When Anna does the honors we keep our fingers crossed that God has a liberal sense of humor.

There are nights where Kim and I look at each other and wonder how we lost control. There are times when the chaos drives me to retreat to my computer where I drown out the noise with a set of headphones.

And that’s where I found myself tonight.

Just one more ESPN article. Better check Facebook. Where’s my iPhone?

And then silence. I’d better check this out. So I head upstairs to find Kim sitting in the hallway reading a book to the kids who are in bed: Anna and Luca in one room and Lincoln and Kai in another. Nobody is pulling faces or making noises to annoy younger sisters. No shoving, belching or giggling.

As the chaos turns to calm I begin to understand.

Kim continues to read until they’re asleep. The mood is peaceful. Only our dog can be heard walking through the kitchen looking for table scraps.

My head is no longer spinning from the day’s activity. It’s not always apparent on the surface. But I’m certain I will look back on nights like these and proclaim they were the best of my life.

3 thoughts on “Nights Like These

  1. Brett, I can picture your obstacle course, not at your house but at our house many years ago. I can also understand your head spinning as everyone tries to tell you about your day. What a smart way for Kim to quiet the kids, reading from the hall while they are in their beds. I wonder if I did anything that smart when my kids were little?


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