I had a great weekend. Nothing truly spectacular happened. I, for the most part, tucked the blog away in my top drawer. I wasn’t on call and didn’t connect into my clinic computer. I tried to be really present with all 3 boys in my house.

I played with my kids. We did the typical things that dress up weekends for normal people: errands, a grocery store trip, naps, dinner, test drove a car, met friends and their kids for lunch, met friends and their kids for dinner, went to IKEA, had dinner with grandma, took out the recycling, rearranged the living room.

Usually, that little “trip to IKEA” sandwiched in there would be a back/mood/weekend breaker. This time, no.

In the midst of this wholly normal yet stupendous weekend, I had mentioned to a friend how F was having a hard time with the concept of single digits forming greater numbers, especially in the teens. That is, he can count pretty easily from one to fifty, but when I point to the clock and ask what time it is, he says “seven, one, three.”

I’ve explained the concept of two numbers forming another, many (ineffective) times. We’ve written out a list of numbers. We’ve pushed them together. We’d watched the clock and counted out loud for minutes and minutes. None of that worked.

Then this morning, inspired by the new house, in the midst of the raindrops, with the husband on call, a trip to IKEA became the center of our Sunday. On the way out the door, we’d measured F & O’s new closet because we’re trying to make it into little reading nook with a chair, rug and lots of books for cozy time. We measured the dimensions with a flexible tape measure. F wanted to hold the tape measure during the drive. Sounded pretty good to me.
Then, the unthinkable for a under-rested mom: discovery and learning with no proper pre-planning. A little ray of wonderment making me feel like a good Mom after all the beat-myself-up moments of the past few tiring weeks. And although it was likely due to auspicious (my favorite word from my college essay) fate, expected 3 year-old development, and good old fashion “time together,” it still made me feel like a rock star. And F too, I think.

Stuck in the car, tripping around Seattle and down Interstate-5, F and I counted together slowly from 1 to 60. With each number he would advance his finger one strut on the tape measure. Poof, it happened. In mere minutes, he got it. That concept I couldn’t quite reach, that 1 and 7 together were an entirely different number than when alone was solved by the sewing kit. Ta-dah. Seventeen really does look different when it fits right between 16 and 18 on a flexible, regimented tape. There was true order for F. When I asked him to put his finger on 23, he could. And tonight, 8:17 had sense.

Inching along and driving south, reshaping my motherhood. The result: the rare, nearly endangered specie, a perfect trip to IKEA. Who knew something so routine could be adorned with such wonder. Goodnight, January Sunday.