In the words of a colleague, it's been a day. I called L earlier in the morning for a pep talk. Her friend was in town and heard L's end of the line; she was surprised at our midday conference, but such is our egalitarian marriage. Later in the day L suggested we slip out early and meet on Solomons. Driving over the bridge in the late afternoon I could feel my cares slough away from me as the bridge arced over the water. The sun was shining, gulls were in the air.
After I parked and approached L and the kids on the boardwalk in front of the restaurant Alice started running towards me, spindly legs flying, backlit by the sun. Barrow started chugging along too. We went in and sat by the water in the shadow of the building itself. I took B for a walk to the dock, hoping to spark his interest with the water and the boats and the mallards, but he just wanted to go back to the table. Alice waved from the deck. The kids gave us the gift of a pleasant evening, eating their macs and cheese, letting us talk and then sitting on laps and playing with the baby. It was a really good evening, a harbinger of the summer nights to come.
I thanked L for the gift she had given me. Driving back over the bridge my mind returned to the cares of the day, but now I felt like I had some mental scaffolding to keep my worries in their proper place. This too shall pass.