A Kiss in the Garden


I was tired. Just so, so, to-the-bone tired.


It was wearing me down, this run-run-run that is NOT the way I like to do things.


Up early to get our son on the bus that would take him to camp in a neighboring town… Rush around to get our older daughter on the bus for summer school… Get G. ready and head out to meet our deacon at Moms’ Ministry… Zip home to eat and change for the little one’s swim lesson at the beach across town… Make it there with moments to spare since I missed the lane that leads to it– twice… Finish that and rush home mere minutes before the summer school bus deposited C. at my house… Re-pack the beach bag and get middle child changed and sunscreened… Head two towns over to pick up A. from camp and then drive like mad to make it back to the beach within twenty minutes… Two more swim lessons done and it’s time to get home and scarf down dinner before horseback riding lessons… Except I had to squeeze a call to the doctor in there, too– our youngest spiked a 103 degree fever and complained of pain that made me suspect a urinary tract infection… Kiss-kiss-”hi there”, two ships passing in the night as my husband rushed C. off to riding and I took the other two to a late evening pediatrician appointment… And then on to the pharmacy…


And that was just Monday.


The rest of the week has looked much the same. Yesterday, “karate” replaced “horseback riding”, but it was another day of sheer madness. So exhausted was I that, rather than eat dinner, I chose to rest on the couch for ten minutes. I needed it more than nourishment in that moment.


Driving home after 8pm once karate was done, I yawned and blinked my heavy lids. I knew my husband would be at home, tucking the girls in and waiting for me. I knew he hoped to spend time with me. I hadn’t missed his subtle suggestion that maybe I’d mix up a couple of icy drinks for the two of us to sip while we relaxed.


I couldn’t bear it. The thought of having to be “on”, to make conversation and snuggle rather than pass out made me cranky. Why? Why do I have to add MORE to my already psychotic schedule??


I drove past a little cape-style house on the left. I was in a school zone and, thus, was driving very slowly.


A little old lady meandered through her flower gardens, under an arch, and she leaned, ever-so-slightly, to finger a glorious red blossom. It made me smile.


Around the bend, there was movement. I watched the elderly man walk up behind her and place his hands on her waist. She startled, just a bit, then turned to him.


Even from my distance, I could see the smile bloom across her face. And then they kissed.


This. This is why I do it. This is why I dig deep and find the energy to mix up a couple of super-icy 7 & 7′s and garnish them with fat lime wedges. This is why I wear the long blue skirt and strappy white tank top that make him happy. This is why I sit and laugh with him instead of collapsing in a heap of exhaustion on the other couch…


The day will come when I no longer have little ones with wild summer schedules keeping me hopping. There will be a time when I don’t have to drive all over God’s green earth. Far too soon, I won’t be the one fretting over feverish toddlers and smearing sunscreen over a whole mess of little limbs.


The dance of life will slow down until, rather than executing a solo boogie, I can take a moment, breathe, and waltz with a beloved partner. 


I will meander through winding paths, perhaps reflecting on the sticky hands I used to hold while I walked them. And it is my hope that, as I stroll along, I might be interrupted by a man who shares those memories…


…and who wants to kiss me among the flowers.



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