Over the weekend my parents were in town and life was full of people and energy. My dad and I went on a long jog. It was a relaxed run for Mr. Boston since he's nursing a bursitis, but it was still about twice as far as I've run in a year. He pushed the double stroller, otherwise I would've been toast. I cooked in the kitchen with my mother. My folks brought us German Pretzels from my hometown bakery. Jacob and my brother had a little breather from work, and my other brother spent most of the weekend at our place too. At one point in the weekend's energy somebody broke something, one of the sweet little Anthropologie bowls Jacob bought me on my birthday. I don't really know how it happened, but it accidentally got knocked off the counter. The sound of breaking glass silenced the room, and little Jake peered over the counter onto the floor at the mess of porcelain shards.
Jake (alarmed): Oh, no! Can you fix it?
I shook my head.
Jake (deeply concerned): Was it one of your birthday bowls?
Jake (lip quivering): Was it special?
So much of my life is spent running interference, steering Jake in better directions, getting him involved in good things, scheduling our lives around meltdown o'clock. He's started hitting me. If he's mad when I'm putting him into his car seat, I have to watch out not to get kicked in the face. You know: life with a willful, demanding almost three year old. But peppered into the hard parts of parenting are these kinds of moments, the kind of moments that make you willing to break all your birthday bowls.