Hello From the Other Side

You guys.  We made it.  We no longer have little-little kids.  We’ve crossed over.

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Here’s how I know:

1.A couple of months ago we were all outside on a Saturday and I went inside to get a drink or use the bathroom or something.  I realized that I didn’t have to yell out to my husband to “keep an eye on so-and-so because I am going inside for a minute!”.  Nope.  Just went inside and peed like it was nothin’.  And no one ran into traffic or ate dirt or anything little kid’ish.   Crossed over.

2.  I can run an errand or two and leave a kid (or two) home alone.

3.  When I am the preschool helper at my daughter’s school, I don’t have to pump a bottle for the baby or find a sitter for the toddler or anything.  I can just show up because the older three are in school.  See: Why We Were Finally Able To Do a Preschool Co-op.

4.  I can stain the entire front porch on a Saturday and all of my kids can leave me alone to do it.  Three coats.  Boom.  Crossed over.

My kids are 4, 6, 9, and 10.  While I loved my little bitty babies, I cannot for a second say that I miss that stage of life.  It is freaking exhausting.  And I am not just talking about the newborn sleeplessness.  It’s just so physically tiring- all of that buckling and unbuckling and crouching down to eye level and picking kids up and tying shoes…

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I love this stage.  I think we are in the golden in-between spot.  My kids still think I know things and consider me an authority on life, and they can all handle their own bathroom needs without assistance.

Crossed over.

 

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Cereal

“This morning when I had my cereal I patted it down into the milk like Grandma Ruth did.”

This from my oldest, last night at dinner.

I was confused.  Milk?  Who?  Oh.  My mom- Nana- but sometimes “Grandma Ruth” because my oldest never knew her.  A more formal name, maybe, to remind me/us who she’s talking about?

I had forgotten this little thing my mom used to do.  When she said it, a little room in the back of my memory opened up.  Yes- she did do that.  Patted down the cereal into the milk, with the back of her spoon.  Usually a combination of two cereals- one like cardboard and one like cardboard-sweetened-with-honey.  (We never got the good cereals.)

“I must have told you that- what- years ago?  I didn’t even remember that.”

“I think you told me when I was five.”

It was like a gift from my oldest.  A gift that is sweet and hurts at the same time.  It lights up a part of me and hurts me, too.

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squinty

We have been listening to a lot of Mumford & Sons since we went to their show this weekend.  (We met Mumford!  And a couple of Sons!  They were so kind!).  How (terribly) timely to have watched the video for Beloved earlier that day.  I was already thinking of her- Nana, Grandma Ruth, Mom- and then the cereal comment at dinner.

I took a bath.

Cried a lot.

Went to bed.

 

Questions

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hooded jammies

 1.  I’m wondering if any other parent out there has ever found a dead bird in their childs’ room.  Because I have.

2.  When you buy a minivan off Craigslist and inherit all of the running bumper stickers from the previous owner, do you also inherit the bragging rights to those races?

(I also inherited four interior windows’ worth of Dora and “I’ve Been Krogering” stickers.  When I see those vehicles around town, I think those parents have just given up.  There.  I said it.)

3.  A recent conversation topic amongst friends on Marco Polo was naming your superpower.  One of my friends remembers all of our birthdays off the top of her head.  Also my anniversary.  She remembers the birthdays of high school friends, random acquaintances, and so on.  Incredible.

Remember when you used to dial a phone number, and each number had a tone?  Another friend’s superpower was to hear the tones you were dialing and TELL YOU WHO YOU WERE CALLING.  Whaaaaat.  “Oh, you just dialed mom… Will… best friend… neighbor” and so on.

So much talent.

My superpower is getting rid of things.  Like bags of stuff from my kids rooms.  (Like dead birds.  And other things.)  I love it.  Not as good of a party trick as the other two.  But still.

Questions for you:

What’s the best thing you’ve ever found in your kid’s room?  (“Best thing” is obviously a euphemism for grossest or weirdest.)

What’s your superpower?  (I really want to know.)

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also found in my kids’ room.  different kid.