Thursday, April 5, 2012

Counting Sheep

If asked, I don't think I could list all of the great things about having children.  In one simple look, they are able to teach you more about yourself than years of therapy or weeks alone in the desert ever could.  They challenge you to be stronger, smarter and more patient not only for yourself, but for them and for their future families.

And as they grow, the number of moments that make your heart melt seem to multiply and strengthen your resolve to be the best parent you can be.  But by far, the best moments are when they finally shut their mouths and go to sleep.

Don't get me wrong-- I love my boys more than words.  But words are, in fact, what bombard my brain all day long.  Words, loud words, words shouted in anger about a toy, a book or a chair, (because the food doesn't taste right if you're in the wrong seat, you know), words whispered so that one won't hear the devilish plan being formulated against the other, and even words left unsaid but implied; the "do it anyways" and the "I don't like yous".

So when that glorious moment comes and they are both tucked into bed, I sometimes do a little dance.  I'm not kidding either-- sometimes I dance right there outside of their bedroom.  My usual move is something between "the twist" and "the running man"; a dance of pure relief and excitement for quiet (but still not as exceptional as Cael's moves for Ellen).

And once they are tucked in bed, I sit on the couch for 2.5 seconds before realizing that I have to do the laundry.  And I have to unload the dishwasher (and reload the dishwasher).  When that's done I need to get started on the next day's blog post, gather the garbage and recycling for the next morning's pickup, vacuum the carpet where Graham shredded half of the Easter egg gel clings, and do my best to dislodge the unopened box of Cheerios from the kitchen floor vent.

And suddenly, breaking up their fights doesn't seem so bad after all.  Watching them play and pretend, be creative and sometimes naughty is really worth it to help them learn how to behave when they are grown and have children of their own.

Plus, I can avoid doing the laundry.  I really hate laundry.

So yesterday I sneaked into the bedroom as Graham slept.  I watched his chest rise and fall as I lightly touched his cheek and gazed at his long eyelashes.  I snapped photos quietly as he dozed, completely trusting, with arms spread open.  I wanted to kiss him and hold him, crawl under the sheets with him and fall into his warmth. 

But instead I watched him until he woke up.  I tried to nuzzle him but it wasn't quite the same.  He started again with the words, first about colored frogs and cookies, no doubt the remnants of his naptime dreams. 

Then he jabbered about playing outside and shovels and dirt and tractors and bugs.  He picked up a toy that may or may not have been in use moments before.  Cael yelled and Graham cried, and within moments we'd begun a brawl of West Side Story proportions.

And for now, that is how life seems to go.  But the countdown is already on.  Only nine hours until bedtime...

1 comment:

  1. haha....reminds me of how I always miss my girls when they are visiting my parents, but then after 5 minutes of them being home I wish they'd go to bed LOL

    Happy Easter! :-)


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