One moment I will look at my boys' sweet, rounded, joyful, food-smeared little faces - both so dear that it hurts - and wish I could freeze time to keep them just like this forever.
Meanwhile the days hurtle past with no concern for my tender maternal feelings whatsoever.
My older son will start first grade in a few weeks. First fucking grade! I could swear that he was just an infant - a fussy infant, but still, an innocent, utterly dependent, tiny baby in my arms with that wonderful smell that makes you sniff their heads like some kind of addict. And yet he learned to ride his bike without training wheels last week. Time marches on.
My little guy will start nursery school in a few weeks. He's well on the way to being potty trained even though he still prefers to have us put a diaper on him so he can go stand behind his play kitchen with his face practically pressed against the wall - it looks terribly uncomfortable - when it's time to poop.
He recently mastered going up and down the stairs on his own even though we still insist that someone accompany him. The baby gates will be coming down soon - I can feel it - truly the end of an era.
He delights in talking on the phone (both real and imaginary) and tells a story with panache, complete with dramatic pauses and coy facial expressions. Every time he whispers conspiratorially, "Can I tell you about slugs?" in what has become a very successful bedtime-stalling tactic, I wish I had my phone to take a video of his darling nearly three-year-old-ness. But of course, I never do, so I just listen while he tells me about slugs and try to steal a few kisses.
|This photo was taken by our talented friend, Jennifer May - it's a few months old and we both have shorter hair now.|
Their bickering and hitting and screaming will reach a fever pitch and I feel like I CAN'T STAND THIS A MOMENT LONGER! I often yell and sometimes say things I regret and end up feeling rather like a child, myself.
But don't they know how lucky they are to have a brother? That this person is their blood -- the only other person who will ever understand the wonderful craziness that is their family? That the person they're trying to kick and make it look like an accident or who they just punched in the face will be there for them to lean on when mom or dad needs to be taken care of someday or (gulp) dies? That they are lucky they won't have to face life's knocks or celebrate its gifts alone? But at six and not-quite-three, these truths have not yet become clear to them, of course.
We've had a string of unbearably hot, humid, childcare-less days in the weeks since their camps ended. The kind of days when I have actual paying work I need to do plus lots of laundry and cooking and mundane crap like filling out the mountain of forms before school starts and they're both hot and bored and cranky and express it by baiting each other and making endless demands so that every time their father or I finally sits down at the computer for a moment, they issue another imperious command from the couch and I wish to God that I had the power to fast forward until they're asleep in their beds upstairs and I can tiptoe in to peek at their cherubic, slumbering, little bodies - cheeks flushed and arms thrown over their heads in sleepy abandon - and press a surreptitious kiss on a cheek or a hand before falling into an exhausted, boneless sleep in my own bed next door.
So much for living in the moment...
I hope the first day of school goes well for everyone. I cannot wait for it but will also probably cry when it does roll around.
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