We took the kids out to a restaurant on Sunday night. Bill and I were both exhausted from the fun, but busy couples' baby shower that we threw at our house on Saturday night, so we decided to let someone else do the cooking.
One of the best parts about taking our kids out to eat, besides the fact that we don't have to cook or clean up, is that we usually have great conversations with them, now that they are a little older, and don't chew on the free crayons at the table. It's probably the fact that they are somewhat tethered to the table, and there is no option for them to move around like they can at home. They are forced to sit there and chat it out.
Out of the blue, George looked at me at said, "Mom, how hard will you cry when we all move out of the house someday?"
I was a little taken aback, but touched by his question. So I said, "Well, of course I will cry so hard, but Daddy and I will come visit you no matter where you live."
"Will you come visit me in Michigan? 'Cause that's where I'm gonna live," asked George.
Most of our family lives in Michigan, where Bill and I were born and raised. George's best friend and cousin Joseph lives in Michigan. They were born two weeks apart from each other and they are kindred spirits. BFFs. Total compadres. My sister Therese and I even made up a little ditty entitled, "Joseph and George Are Best Buddies" that we have been singing to them since they were babies. So George has decided that he will live by Joseph someday, and Joseph lives in Michigan.
"Of course I'll come see you in Michigan," I replied.
"Will you come visit me if I live in California?" prodded Charlie.
"What if I live in England?"
"What about Africa?" continued Charlie as he thought of more exotic places.
"How 'bout if I moved to Pluto, mom?" Henry chimed in, in true Henry fashion.
"Well...I would love to visit you on Pluto, but it's so far away and I might burn up in the atmosphere trying to reach you. Besides, I can't breathe on Pluto."
"Then I'm gonna invent a special fast rocket ship to get you to Pluto."
"Okay. Then Dad and I are there." I said.
So on and on our conversation went, getting even crazier as the boys thought of where they could live someday and wondering if Bill and I would come visit them. And the answer was always the same. We will always come visit you.
The thought of my babies leaving the nest in the distant future makes me sad and nostalgic and makes me hope that I can fit in all the fun stuff in the short amount of time that Bill and I have these amazing little people to ourselves.
Am I the only crazy mom that misses my kids sometimes when they are sleeping? Usually it happens on those days when everyone is being bad and getting punished, and it's bonkers and hectic around here. I find myself yelling a little too much and my patience has taken a leave of absence. Then suddenly the whole house is quiet and I get in bed and think, "I miss them." Of course Bill thinks it's funny every time and says something like, "Clare, you were just saying how much the kids need to go to bed so you can get some downtime for yourself. Now you miss them? You'll see them when they wake up." But it's not easy to explain because I don't even understand it myself.
No matter what happens the day or night before, no matter how much destruction or fighting occurred at this house the day before, no matter how many times I heard, "I hate you! You're the meanest mommy ever!" the day before, no matter how many times I issued time-outs or punishments or groundings the previous day, no matter what happened, ALL is forgiven in the light of the next day. Sure, a child or two might still be grounded, but I am still so happy to see them that I can't help but greet them with excitement and hugs. "Look who it is! It's the Char-Diggs!" (my nickname for Charlie) and, "Here he is! The Hen-Dog!" or "The G-man is awake!" and last but not least, "My super sweet-a babycita!" (a nickname Bill gave to Annabel at birth)
And I know you can relate, because I know you feel this way about your amazing little people too. It's universal. It's the best kind of excitement there is.
That's why I was so touched when I checked one of my favorite blogs this morning, www.seegodtoday.com, and one of the entries was entitled, "Saw God in a Greeting". The best part about reading other blogs is finding something you can relate to, and this was definitely it.
Dan, the moderator of the blog, wrote about his wife and how she greets their children with love and excitement every morning. Then he wrote, "As I sat there, I thought to myself ‘…she just put them to bed with prayers, ‘love you’s’, hugs and kisses last night and, only eight hours later, she is greeting them like she hasn’t seen them in years…’ My heart filled with contentment—that is the love a mother has for her children. She adores them passionately and appreciates every opportunity to kiss them good night and greet them in the morning—-as if she’s never had the opportunity to do it before and may never have the opportunity again."
Dan is right, and I couldn't have said it better or more beautifully than he did. The only thing I would add to what he said is the word "father", because those guys are pretty great too.
Happy first day of autumn, my personal vote for the best time of the year.