I've been sitting here with the cursor blinking, eating Reece's Pieces and drinking Irish breakfast tea, looking out the window and wondering how in the world to start. I used to dream about making this writing thing a career and now I'm lucky if I can find the time, energy and patience to write once a month.
I used to think that the baby phase was the hardest. That once they got bigger and more independent, it got easier to make time for myself. Time for cooking, reading, exercising. But Little Man is almost 9 and Little Lady is 3 and I feel even more stretched now than when they were babes. I found myself in a shower alone last night, thinking about how rare even this was becoming. We spend all day every day playing, reading, eating, talking, dancing...I wear her in a backpack still when we walk to school and go for hikes and head to stores. She loves to be so close. Always. I love it, too. I do. I sometimes leave her at MOPS and feel breathless, as if I need her closer so I can catch my breath. But still. I need my own time. And I look forward to my showers all day long. It's my time to be quiet, alone, relaxed and reflective. But she misses me and if she's still awake, she's there. And before I even have time to get the shampoo in my hair, there's a pile of princess clothes on the tile and a girl saying, "Here I am Mama!" as if her presence makes it all alright. I used to fight it. But she's my girl. And I know this time won't last forever.
Just looking at Little Man reminds me how they grow up in a blink. He's hardly little -almost as tall as me now. He's gone all day long. And after school he's off playing with friends until it's time for a quick dinner before sports practices and games. I feel like we never get to see each other. And he's only in third grade! I shudder to think about what high school be like.
The highlight of my every day with him is our time together at night when we read. He is a voracious reader, like his Mama. I know for certainty he's pulled at least two all nighters this year because he couldn't put the book down. It makes my heart swell with love to think about it. And so every night, after we get home from sports or swimming, or walking, we settle in on the couch with a book and we read. Sometimes we have to stop every.five.seconds to let the dogs out, get the lady milk, let the barking dogs back in, stop the lady from putting toothpaste on the carpet, make room for the dogs on the couch with us, put the lady to bed for the 14th, no 15th, make that 22nd time tonight. And he gets just as exasperated as I do and I can see in his eyes how he wishes the whole world just leave us alone so we can snuggle together on the couch and find out how in the world Percy Jackson is going to save Olympus yet again. We're both suckers for epic adventures and we would both sit on that couch until the sun came up or the book was done if we could get away with it. But he's too young and I'm too old for all-nighters, so we try to keep it reasonable. But, man, my first baby is no longer a Little. He's a Big. But he still wants to sit and snuggle with me and listen as I read him stories. And I know this time won't last forever either and my heart will break a little when he's done with story time.
Too soon I'll have all the time in the world to read and cook and write and won't that be sad?