So there’s a little thing happening over in my house that’s changing everything about my life. The little ones, the little people who used to require feeding and clothing and keeping from death nearly every day–those little ones are becoming people. Real people.
They aren’t just need-machines anymore. I really have to be honest and tell you, my soul just takes a deep breath on that. If my soul could just plop down inside of me and throw her arms up, she would declare, ”I made it.”
I can go into my own bathroom and take a shower and put on makeup and not worry someone’s toddling toward a head-first dive down the stairs. I can tell my children to “go get a snack” and they can actually get one. They can buckle their own seat belts and hop on the bus and close the car door. They can brush their teeth and button their pants. With enough prodding, they can even set the table or empty groceries or put away laundry.
They can tell jokes, some of which are actually funny.
I stood in the kitchen making dinner and asked my oldest about his day. He recounted someting to me and then made a witty remark. And I spontaneously laughed out loud. For the first time EVER, I wasn’t laughing just so he would feel good about himself and think he was funny, even when he wasn’t. I laughed–really laughed–because all of a sudden he’s intelligent and witty and enjoyable to be with. I am not alone in my spirit anymore, when I am with my children. I cannot chat on the phone while I play blocks and pretend to watch the Wiggles. My home is inhabited, and now the needs are changing and I am changing.
Now, they need my patient coaching through homework. They need me to ask a question and sit quietly and wait for a response. They need me to sacrifice my dignity and be goofy and dance around the kitchen and help them get over whatever little wounds they’ve received that day.
They need to tell me their stories. They need me to collect their stories and store them in a treasure box in my heart, holding them for safekeeping, so the next time they are scared or downtrodden or worried or resentful, I can pluck out a story of their life and read it back to them. Not only that, but I fill in the blanks and I smooth over the rough spots, when I point them toward the invisible things, the things they may not notice without me.
I am not just a need-filler now. I am a story holder. I have three important beings that are becoming people, and I help them read their lives.
And so my days look different. I have less in the emotional tank for other people. I find that my world is shrinking. I find myself wondering about other moms and how they weather these changes, what seasons of life felt like the easiest and the best, and I am happy that I have some good friends, friends who don’t mind that I don’t call sometimes, because they are busy raising real people too. So I let my world shrink and I have just a few that I do life with. And that change is a bit hard and a bit good, as all changes tend to be. And it makes me happy and sad and pensive and full, and I don’t know what else to say about that so instead I’ll show you pictures from our summer.
Oh, don’t worry about me, I’m just the crazy lady crying while snapping pictures with her iphone.
Love. Love. Love.