A Letter to My Grown Up Children
My dear Darlings,
I have been thinking about you all day. As I watched your little bodies run around and scream and play, my mind wandered to the future when your big bodies will be less frequently by my side. The thought brought me much sadness. There is something so energizing in being needed and wanted.
As we played at the park, I watched as you, Keith stood up for your sister. When another little boy was running around, pushing people, I saw with pride in my eyes as you stepped in front of her, putting yourself in danger, and with your hand out, firmly say "Don't touch my sister!" At that moment, it felt like I could see you in the future. So strong and protective of those you love.
Later, as I laid you down for your naps, you both laid there quietly and peacefully. I hurried into the kitchen to bake some pumpkin bread. I wanted to surprise you with a fresh steaming slice when the pair of you woke up. I thought of the rushed dinner times we would have. The times your father and I would eat alone. I felt lonely.
And then, as if you knew I was feeling lonely, the both of you burst into the kitchen. Your beds were still cold since you had been in them for less than five minutes.
Inwardly, I smiled at your enthusiasm, Keith. You really love to cook and help me in the kitchen. You demanded I stop baking and wait for you to finish your nap so you could help me. I agreed, and you watched, with mistrust as I put the bowl in the fridge to keep until you woke up. I don't think you believed I would really wait.
I assured you I would, and then ushered both you and your sister back to your rooms. I kissed you, tucked the covers in around you, and patted your bums before I turned around and walked away. When I got to the top of the stairs, I heard you, Faye, talking to Keith. I could hear him telling you to leave him alone, and you insisted he take your pacifier. With a sigh, I turned around, and went back down to get you. At that moment, I thought of the friendship the two of you are forming, and hoped that it will always be as strong as it is now, if not stronger.
Outwardly, I sighed, scooped Faye up, kissed you again, and walked out the room. I love holding you, my sweet girl, but you wanting to give up naps, or be held until you fall asleep which sometimes takes three hours is really causing me stress. As I walked around, trying to help you fall asleep, you kept grabbing my face. You turned my head to look at you, and burst out in a fit of giggles. Every time. It was fun. But I was getting tired. And then your brother came up the stairs.
And then the fun began.
From that point on, we fought. I tried so hard to get the two of you to bed. Both of you joined forces and decided it would be a fun thing to give your mother a break down.
From 1:30 until 5:00, there were tantrums, screamings, tears, hitting, throwing things, and more. Keith, you always humble me. In the midst of your tantrum, you nearly always ask for a hug. You just want to feel better, so you ask for a hug and a kiss. I love that about you.
I have to admit, though, dear children, at that moment, I really longed for the day when you were grown up. The day when I wouldn't want to sink into a puddle of my own tears just because I could see you were so tired and needing a nap. Just because I was trying to help you feel better, and you refused to let me.
I have never wanted to be the mother who passes "The Curse" on to her children. I don't wish the chaos and helplessness on anyone. But I will say, I hope your kids are just like you. Because at the end of the day? You are wonderful. Four hours of whining and tantrums cannot change that.
Just understand, wanting to go to bed at 5:30 is not a bad thing. Wishing you could put your kids in bed for the rest of the day at 2:00 happens to everyone. I think. And when you get tired and worn out because your little ones have too much energy or enthusiasm or lack of sleep. Just know, having lived that moment so many times with you both, I completely understand.
I love you both so much. Always have, always will.