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?
This post inspired by:
Prompt #2: Whose fault was it?