You guys. My kids: they’re so sweet and kind and loving–but they need to work on their compliments. Example #1: I’ve stopped straightening my hair most days and am just letting the crazy waves be themselves. I’m still not too sure about living daily life looking …
Note: I’ve been struggling a lot with writing about my kids as they get older. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to post something similar to what I’ve written below only to cringe and delete the whole thing because…well, I don’t want …
It’s Tuesday, and I’m sitting in my dark office. It’s about eight o’clock in the morning. I’ve been up since 5:30 but that just means I’m only on cup of coffee #2. David has left to take the girls to school, and Cian is still asleep. It’s completely quiet in here save the ticking of a little clock I keep on a table and the soft sound of the rain falling against the porch roof out front. I’ve a salt lamp switched on. That warm glow is like inside sunshine on a day like this.
Most days we all need a little sunshine, manufactured or not.
(Salt lamp, do your magic.)
I’ll also tell you something else: we had family over to celebrate Easter on Sunday, and yesterday I was too occupied with the kiddos to worry about clean-up. So right now? My office is the only room in the house that’s truly clean.
I might very well be hiding.
I wandered in here with my coffee to do something after the garage door closed, but I’m not sure what: Check my email? Plan the day? Look at the news? It’s the day after a long Easter break. The living room is still littered with the detritus of holiday and belated birthday celebrations: candy-filled baskets, gift boxes, a few pairs of new flip-flops. But I’m in here, in the front room of the house reserved for my quiet work, and I sit in the dark, not doing anything other than listening.
Listening to the quiet.
Waiting for Cian to pad downstairs to ask for his “bwef-ast.”
Waiting for direction.
This is all super productive.
I am so behind on so many things I’m not quite sure where to start to catch up. Behind on emails. On this blog. On every single friendship I have, pretty much. I told a writer friend of mine, after she’d texted me one morning in a haze of espresso and to-do lists, that of the six things I should be juggling every day–writing work, blogging, family, emails/communication, friends, volunteering, house/laundry/paperwork/etc. (wait: that’s seven)–I can really only do two or three reasonably well at a time. These past couple of months, it’s been book writing, family, and house stuff (soooooo, if you’ve emailed me in the last month or so? I’m sorry?). I need to figure out a proper system. I keep thinking it will be easier to manage it all once Cian is in full-day kindergarten next year (I say that like I’m ready), but a friend with four children just told me to give up that particular daydream. She said it never truly gets un-busy.
She said it gently. I forgive her.
But when you’re only able to handle two or three of seven (I said seven but I meant seventy because shouldn’t laundry count for twenty?), that leaves a lot of other responsibilities I’ve let fall to the ground in a giant ol’ heap of anxiety.
Lots of responsibilities, some of which I dropped so long ago I can actually feel myself turning red when I think about them.
Shame, y’all. It can be paralyzing.
(Ooh! Maybe that’s why I’m sitting here catatonic! The SHAME is to BLAME.)
(Or something like that.)
Cian’s coming down the stairs now. I’ve got to set up his breakfast and clean up some things (dishes/laundry/endless pieces of crayoned scrap paper) and commence our daily in-depth chat about the Titanic (“I don’t know WHY I love the Titanic so MUCH, Mom! I’m glad I wasn’t on it but I wish I was.”). I have Mom things to do.
It’s still pouring rain.
I’m still sitting here, now hugging my preschooler, wondering what I should be doing with my life.
(Work your magic, salt lamp!)
I have no idea what to do next, but I guess getting up is a good place to start.
Saoirse and her team finished up their novice basketball season this weekend. These girls exceeded all of our expectations (Saoirse: “I didn’t think we were going to win one game!” Her dad–her head coach–sheepishly agreed): they were undefeated this season save one loss, and I …
The “baby” turned five over the holidays, which officially means that he’s not a baby and I need to give up the denial before it starts to get kind of creepy. His feet are huge. His hands are ginormous, to use one of his favorite words. He’s tall enough that I have to go up a size in his clothes again and he’s almost outgrown his car seat and he’s big enough that he’s starting to out-eat most adults when we sit down to meals. Pretty soon I’m going to be surrounded by all these friendly giants that somehow came out of me but are towering over me and I’m just not ready for that. Cian, by bringing up the rear, is simply rubbing it in.
“I don’t feel five. I only feel four.”
“You’re the best mom in the world. You’re so nice to me. You give me ginormous cookies.”
“Mom? What if dinosaurs were real? And we could eat them and they lived in our house and our house was full of lava?”
He gives away kisses to us like they’re Tic-Tacs. He throws fits and whines and whines when we ask him to clean up his toys, then mutters, “Fine,” and makes good work of them all within a couple minutes. He holds our hands and didn’t like the fire scene in The Greatest Showman (“It was too ‘cary for me” he says) and is Quinlan’s absolute best friend one moment and in the next fighting with her like they’re Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men. He is smart and funny and really good at drawing T-Rexes and he somehow started writing words and sentences when we weren’t looking (well, Saoirse was. Apparently she teaches him his letters while we’re off doing other things, like ruminating on how he’s not a baby anymore). He’s still a horrible sleeper, and most nights we can find him wandering around the upstairs, looking for somebody to keep him company.
He is five. He is the youngest. And he is still teaching me that patience is love, to never underestimate the conversational abilities of the preschool set (“You KNOW what I’m saying, Mom. Can you put down your phone and answer me?”) and that, sometimes when we’re wandering around aimlessly and just looking for attention, that’s all any of us need: just a friendly face to assure us that we’re loved, that others are right here, and that we’re not alone.
David asked me this morning, “Is it wrong to think he’s special? Just look at the way he plays: that imagination. I could watch him all day.” I laughed. No, it’s not wrong to think he’s special.
Not when every day he reminds us that he is.
My mom skipped a lunch with her girlfriends today to watch Cian in his 10-minute long Halloween parade. She then, despite my not-so-forceful protests, whisked him away so that I could go home and focus on writing (more on that later–let’s just say that this …