By 3 pm that day, the kids were squirrel-ier than ever and dreading going back to school the next day. After separating them from picking at each other for the umpteenth time, I declared enough and said "We're going for a drive."
"Where are we going?"
"I don't know, let's see where the road takes us."
<Insert skepticism and a smidge of whining.>
"It will probably take us toward ice cream."
And we were off.
I headed where I usually do when I want to escape - toward downtown. Where I feel like I've ditched the 'burbs and malls and chain restaurants and the same-old for moments of inspiration.
I happened to drive right into the sunset on Lake Monona.
Sam starting shooting pictures like she was paparazzi and Peyton ask a hundred questions about the ice on the lake. It was too cold for any of us to venture out of the warm car, but I wanted to. I really wanted to run toward that sun. To stop it in its tracks long enough to bask in it. I wanted it to stay and warm the car window, the houses across the street, the kids sledding at the park next door (new find!)
But it kept it's long, steady slide behind the lake and disappeared - just like that.
And that's how moments are. They slip through our fingers quickly, even the tough ones. I know that's hard to imagine - some stages of life feel like forever. I'm in the middle of a hard season that seems to be playing out in a running loop. But I've been there before. I know I will look back in a few short years, and appreciate all that is coming out of these days. They will feel like no time at all.
Our adventure did include ice cream and a slow drive home. And no arguing. On the way, Sam said, "It went so fast." I think she was thinking about winter break, but probably also about the day, the drive, and the sunset.
It did. It does.
Watch all the sunsets you can this year, staying long and appreciating each second.