My house is a good size. Not huge, but there are six room totaling 1,800 square feet plus lots of room in an unfinished basement. My sons have their own rooms. There’s a television in the living room and basement. We live on a quiet street with a nice green backyard. So why, I ask you, does it seem that my boys must always be within a 12 inch radius of me? You’d think I was covered in double sided tape the way they stick to me.
I wasn’t one of the fashionable girls with my own clique growing up so you might expect me to appreciate my ongoing popularity now, and I do to a degree. But that fact that I can’t walk without tripping over someone, write without needing to referee, or read without there being a snack crisis drives me crazy some days. I sit, they sit. I move, they move. If it weren’t sweet, it would be a little disconcerting. It’s like having three shadows, two of which are corporeal.
And what is it about the ringing of the phone? If my kids have, for some reason, been leaving me alone, as soon as I pick up the phone… whoosh! There they are. Next to me, needing me, and forcing me to have a minimum of two and frequently three conversations. Does the ring set of some sort of internal kid alarm? “You must go to mommy, now!” it says, and they do. Suddenly everything is urgent other than my need to talk to another grown-up.
I know that all too soon my sons (who are almost 8 and almost 5) will be ignoring me plenty. They will want their own space, their own friends, and an invisible mom. I know to cherish this time where they still fit in my lap, want to be tucked in, and need my hugs and kisses when something hurts. I will miss reading to them, playing Candyland and Trouble with them, and yes, tripping over them.
Still - I’d like to go to the bathroom by myself, please.