No tragedies or smashed fingers. No broken glass or torn masterpieces.
No turning around after three minutes of quiet to find this...
So grown up. So unruffled.
I'd look up from my mess of house work, food work, child work, as I tried to remember every birthday, appointment, assignment, permission slip and bill while spelling out loud and stirring the pot that was boiling over.
And he'd be whole and well.
And I would say, "Someday they will go to school all day and I am going to to shopping. And get my nails done. And go to lunch with my friends. And read books. And you will still be working. And I won't feel guilty at all. Not one bit. You have no idea."
And he would smile and say, "Sounds perfect."
They were hard, hard days. I never got to stop talking, but I could never talk about anything that interested me. There were lengthy discussions about monkey tails and pink string and water paint verses finger paint. I watched children climb onto school buses and I envied their mothers.
What would they do with all that silence?
And now my children are playing a cruel joke on me.
They are growing up and refusing to stop.
One gets gifts from boys who stare at her during math.
The other is graduating kindergarten and going to school all day.
And when my husband found me crying in my bed at midnight this week, he tried to remind me of all that shopping I was going to do and getting my nails done and lunch with the girls. Won't it be nice? Don't you deserve a break?
But the only break is the one in my heart.
What will I do when there is no one to help me contemplate the deep emotional needs of stuffed animals? What will I do when a counter I clean stays... clean?
What will I do with the silence?
I'm learning that loving this fiercely is painful. There are thousands of tiny ways you must detach from them and when you do, they take pieces of your soul with them. And it hurts so beautifully.
Oh, I'm still here. I still have all of my interests and talents and friends and responsibilities.
All the things that shrink down and feel so small compared to two faces. The two faces that still can't drink grape juice without getting a moustache. The two faces that light up when I walk into their classrooms. The two faces that make every day Mother's Day.
The two faces that make shopping seem meaningless and boring unless they're there to laugh with. The ones who make it better to do nails at home than going to a salon because I get to listen to stories that matter to me while they do unthinkable things with purple polish. And the friends I really want to go to lunch with are these two right here. A nice mud pie on an outdoor patio of a rustic little restaurant they built themselves, maybe.
Here's hoping it is never too silent. Never too clean. Never too calm.