The kids went to bed hot and grumpy, despite the gift of a weekend visit from their beloved Farmor, and I was so happy to shut the door on their bedroom and whisper Good night Nilsen kids, I love you. (and then whisper under my breath so much more than I showed you this week.)
The week had ended with more of a whimper than a bang - we missed our usual rowdy Friday night happy hour with neighbors, and both of us were feeling out of sorts.
Then, out on our porch, we heard footsteps, and the front door cracking open. Friends, unsure of the end of bedtime but certain of an unlocked door, were stopping by to end the week with us. They'd shipped their kids off to grandparents, and at 9pm all four of us were ready to imagine a life of finished sentences, fresh new ideas, and sleeping in. (I did say 'imagine.')
We poured some gin, splashed some tonic, and went back out the door to the front porch, and an almost-hot night. In the dim light of a spring evening the peeling paint wasn't obvious, the flickering lanterns we lit added a vague charm, and for the briefest of moments, the four of us sat quietly listening to the spring peepers.
Then we talked - late into the night - about plot lines for Larry David, bike lanes in our town, public school shenanigans, why rich people have handlers (do the handlers floss for the "handled"??) and other pipe dreams, large and small. We dabbled a little in public policy, we reminisced a little about past triumphs.
The gin was refreshed, the tumblers sweated, and still we talked. Rocked in the big white rockers on the front porch, and let the ideas pour out of our mouths as if Monday was at least a month away.
It wasn't the sort of night that will change a person's life. But it was exactly the sort of evening that reminds you that life can be measured in the small moments - the moments celebrated with beat-up tumblers of gin, rockers coated with the pollen of 98 trees, and friends who will find the same contentment in a warm evening, cold drinks, and a few mismatched lanterns.
We set our worlds to right, on Friday night, and honestly? It really didn't take much.
Front Porch Dreaming, Spring '09