I am convinced that the best way for young firewalkers to learn their trade is to walk across a floor filled with random Lego® pieces. And by the intense pain I am feeling, I think it would be for advanced students only.
…so it’s a lazy Saturday morning, mama is at work, I’m reading, and the kids are … uh, I don’t know. They’ve been quiet for a while. Too quiet. My daughter had come to my bedroom door a while back saying something about leaving them alone in her room for a while but I couldn’t quite hear what she was saying since I was in the bathroom and valued my privacy over the details.
Going over the happenings of the past half hour in my head, I realize that this could be an issue so I decided to, y’know, be proactive about things ‘cos that’s what parents do.
I go to her room and call out to them, asking if they are okay.
Daughter: “Yes, we are okay. Please don’t come in.”
Me: “No worries. I just wanted to make sure you are okay.”
- quiet pause for a couple of seconds -
Son: “We’re cleaning everything up.”
Okay, so now I’m scared.
You are getting ready to prepare dinner for your family. Your spouse and the kids are at gymnastics class and will then be coming home in about an hour and a half. What comes first?
Do you put on some Eric Clapton so you can listen to it while mixing a martini or do you mix a martini so you can sip it while getting the Eric Clapton cued up?
oh, and then make dinner.
…so we’re just wrapping up a vacation in Hawaii. Sitting on the beach, I knew that, in my mid-forties, I am no longer a bronzed Adonis tantalizing passersby with my amazing physique, but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw reflecting back in the mirror upon returning to my hotel room – man-boob tan lines.
“Before and After What?” you might ask. Let’s just say I was taking a photo of my three beautiful children playing in a park in Hawaii while on vacation. That’s the “before” photo.
I look at the photo on the camera screen and I notice that the lens was fogged up from being in the backpack with some cold water I had packed for them. I asked them to (oh horror of horrors!) go back to stand for another photo after I clean the lens. That second picture, my friends, is the “after”.
Now that two of my three are in school full day, I spend a lot of time with my third. One ritual we’ve been enjoying together is nap time. Sometimes he wants to be alone and just goes to his bed but sometimes he and I snuggle together and fall asleep together. Maybe it’s because he’s my last baby and soon this phase of our lives will be over. Maybe it’s because things are finally a little more relaxed around here – when my oldest was this age, I had three babies around full time and no two of them fell asleep at the same time.
Whatever the reason, I’m glad I’ve slowed down enough to enjoy these afternoon naps while it lasts.
My kids rave over their Mama. They sing her praises most days when she’s at work. As they’ve been getting older, they have also started to gain empathy and one day, my son realized that maybe I might feel left out when they were singing her praises. After my daughter finished a rousing chorus of “Mom rocks !”, my middle boy says to me, very earnestly, “Daddy, you rock too. Your farts stink, but you still rock.”
Thanks, I’ll take it!
I try not to think of it as “falling asleep on the rug during the bedtime ritual.” I much prefer to think of it it, “modeling good behavior for my kids.”
…so my wife and I had a weekend jaunt to Las Vegas – our first weekend away from the kids in almost seven years (since our oldest was born). While there, we went out for long walks, checking out shows, restaurants, etc. At one point, we had a discussion about whether or not to hit a cocktail lounge or to just walk, talk, and explore. We chose the latter, as it was so refreshing to just be together and joke around as we used to.
Then we came home. The first night back, our kids were out of control – sleep-deprived and irritated that we tore them away from the treats, movies, late nights they enjoyed playing with Grandma, Auntie, and their cousins. As the tantrums continued during the dinner-making process, I open a bottle of wine and my wife asks me to make her a Manhattan. I had to chuckle thinking that for use, the one thing that happened in Vegas and stayed in Vegas was “temperance.”
After almost seven years, my wife and I are having our first weekend away from the kids. A couple of years ago we had a couple of opportunities to head out to a hotel and spa for a night but were back the next morning. This time, we’re going to Vegas as my wife has a training class there so I’m just buying my ticket and we’re off. The first time we did this was a couple of months before we got engaged and it was in Kauai. It’s fun reflecting back nine years to that trip and everything that’s come into our lives since then.
My wife is feeling a little sad and missing the kids. She’s also a little curious/concerned that I feel none of those things. Then again, for me, it’s still to early to miss them. It’s six a.m. on the morning after I dropped them off at my sister-in-law’s place and right now it just feels like the blissful quiet pre-dawn time that I enjoy before the daily chaos. Perhaps around 9 a.m., when it’s still quiet, I’ll start to feel the emptiness. Until then, I’ll just enjoy a quiet cup of coffee.