Thursday, May 8, 2014

What Happened Here?

They are everywhere, even when I can’t see them.

Their stuff fills our house.  Their activities fill every blank spot on the calendar, especially at this time of year.  At times I am totally preoccupied with their schedules.  Their faces, words, personalities fill my mind and heart.

When we go away from them, we still have to take care of them.  Is there a sitter available?  Can they stay with friends?  Can my mom come to watch them?  Can your mom?  If nobody’s available, we can’t go.  Can they stay home alone for just these few hours?

We call them.  We text.  How are you?  What do you need?  Good job!  I’m proud of you.  I love you.  You are handsome (Mom, don’t text me that.  It’s weird).

We try to make them laugh, try not to make them cry.  Try to teach, instruct, soothe.  My prayer life is filled with concerns about them.  Dear God, please protect them.

What has happened to our life?  Fifteen years ago we were only concerned with ourselves.  Let’s go out to eat.  Let’s go see a movie.  Let’s go to a horse race and a house party, bake ourselves in the sun for hours, travel to Paris on a whim.  Shopping for furniture and/or a car was just another weekend activity.  We were so cute back then.

I’ve seen every animated movie ever made since 2001.  A hundred times if we’ve got it on DVD.  We probably have it on DVD.  I have not seen many Oscar winners.  I want to see Oscar winners.

I’ve eaten more chicken nuggets than anyone should.  Ones with bites already taken from them.  Surely my life was meant to be more glamorous than this, filled with better things to eat than this.  Once I was asked if I ever ate a meal that was so good it made me weep.  No.  I haven’t.  I HAVEN’T! I WANT TO EAT A MEAL THAT WILL MAKE ME WEEP

I have resigned myself to wearing sneakers every day.  I need to consider that I may be walking through a sports field at any given point – I cannot wear heels to a baseball game.  Sigh.   One of these pairs of sneakers is a hand-me-down.  It’s humbling to rock a pair of Chucks when you know that your son once wore them. 



I have been puked on, drooled on, coughed on, peed on, picked boogers out of other people’s noses with my fingers, and have caught poop with my bare hands as it falls out of a diaper.  I have wiped butts.  OMG so many times.  There are some people in the world who have never wiped another person's butt.  I don't know what that's like.

I have lain awake worrying about a weird noise coming from a bedroom down the hall.  Did it just happen again?  What time does the doctor’s office open?  Is this an emergency?  Should we have the phone service rouse the doctor from his bed?  They have on call weekends – is this a worthy concern?

I know that on a Sunday morning at 4 am, it only takes 35 minutes to get to the children’s hospital that is normally over an hour away.

Our lives are not only ours now.  They are theirs, too.  I have tried to keep them separate, tried to keep the progression of our lives linear but parallel, raising them but living my own life just a few steps away.  It doesn’t work.  We are intertwined, tangled up.  We are rooted to each other. 

This life is wonderful and awful, sometimes simultaneously.  I wonder what life would look like without them.  It’s impossible – they fill my mind and my heart.  Our lives are forever changed. 

Whose idea was it to have these kids, anyway?




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This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #2: Whose fault was it?

35 comments:

  1. All so true! Children do indeed change the dynamics of that "couple hood" easy free living...
    I'm like you...wouldn't change it for the world! Well, except for maybe the teenage angst and the picking boogers out of a teeny tiny little nose :)
    Life. would. be. dull. without my two darlin's!

    Stopping by after visiting Mama Kat

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    1. Yes, for sure - life would be dull. There are a few things I've done since having kids that I'd be okay living my life without having done them. But then what?

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. This is so beautiful and awesome and true. I love it.

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  3. Replies
    1. From one tangled up mother to the next - thank you. xo

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    1. <3 right back at you. And a :) for good measure. Thank you.

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  5. I love this. I wonder what life will be like when we are a little less intertwined (though, probably never fully parallel), when they are all off on their own. I don't remember what that feels like.

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    1. Thanks, Shannon. I don't remember life before kids, either. I'd like to think that I was freer, more fun. But today I danced my son out the door to the bus stop, and I know that I wasn't. I'm much better now. Maybe not a better dancer.

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  6. You said everything that has been building up in my heart for so long. Brilliant.

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    1. Your comment made me cry. Real, honest to goodness understanding mother tears. Hugs to you. And thank you. xoxo

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  7. (((Big Hugs))) The most important job and just think of all those valuable lessons you've taught them! So beautiful!
    P.S. I think you look awesome rocking the Chuck's!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sarah! I love the chucks. I do. I still wish sometimes that my job required fancier footwear, though. :)

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  8. I love this. Just last night I uttered to my husband, "Whose idea was it to have all these kids? Oh, yeah - yours!" Actually, it was mine, but that's not the point - it's so crazy hard and so worth it. BTW - I want to see Oscar winner too!

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    1. Ha - I say it all the time. To my husband, my mother, my friends, the grocery checker...

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  9. This is lovely and true, true, true! And they go to college, and you worry even MORE. Once upon a time ago, like almost 19 years ago, my husband and I used to go to art shows. And watch films with subtitles. And eat at places that didn't have a children's menu. It will come around again for us one of these days (soon, I fear, as I have an 18 year old and a 15 year old). And we'll wish for the chaos again.

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    1. Art shows and films with subtitles - sigh. It's an entirely different world.

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  10. So true. So, so true. Mine haven't started activities yet, or even full time school. I do wonder how that will change our lives.

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    1. One thing is for sure: it sneaks up on you, and BAM! One day you're sitting at your desk, wondering how you're going to make it to two parent meetings and get each of your children to a different MANDATORY practice, all at the same time.

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  11. Isn't life with kids grand? I wouldn't trade it for the world. Stopping by from mama kats kelley at the road goes ever ever on

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    1. I wouldn't trade having kids for the world, either; now THAT is a mess to inherit. ;)

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  12. I'm only 4 1/2 years into this gig and I already barely remember the years before not having to wipe someone's orifice.

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    1. And you can't even put that skill on your resume, either.

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  13. I frequently ask myself that question... but then one of them smiles and I have my answer.

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    1. It's so simple, and true - that's all it takes, just a smile. Or sometimes just knowing that they're in the world.

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  14. What an awesome photo that is!!

    I don't think I can make you weep, but I hope to cook for you one day. Of course, with my luck I'll probably burn the rice or something. :-D

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    1. And I will eat the burned rice. Because I will be there. xo

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  15. I can't tell you how many times I have reached the end of my rope and wondered why I deliberately made everything more complicated by having children. They are life consuming. But yes of course worth every ounce of energy we sacrifice for them.

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    1. Yes - everything is more complicated! Do we have an innate need to challenge ourselves? Or are we just poor planners?

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  16. I love this so much. I need more reminders that this is a life thing and I just need to embrace it and let go of the fact that I will forever have someone touching me for the next 14 years.

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    1. I find that things are better when I just embrace them. Some of them - like the touching - are harder to embrace than others.

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  17. I relate to every single word of this. Except the part about going to Paris on a whim.
    (But DANG, how I wish that were true.)

    Other than that, though?
    A big, fat, hand-me-down ditto.

    (Also, when you used 'have lain' correctly, you officially became my favorite person. No pressure.)

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    1. To be fair, you can still go to Paris on a whim. However, Paris with kids is infinitely different than Paris without them.

      The have lain thing just fell out of my head, buried deep within the grammar lessons that I keep there. Sometimes I get them right.

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  18. It is possible that I ask myself and my husband this same question too often. ;) And they should have warned us about that desire to pick boogers out of their noses. I mean, WHO DOES THAT?!?!? Oh yeah, us Mothers. This is so great and TRUE Andrea, all of it.

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