It’s close to bedtime and we’re upstairs doing the same old routine. We’re getting pjs on, we’re brushing teeth, we’re washing our faces, we’re ready to settle in.
A few weeks ago I would just want to cry or scream because I’d just want it to be over so I could go to sleep. I was crabby and short with you and wasn’t myself at all. I didn’t enjoy much of anything and especially not same old, same old bedtime routine.
I’m sorry for that. I know I’ve told you already but I hope you know. I’m sorry my normal self went away for a while. But I hope it taught you that these things happen and that it’s important to get help. Always remember that. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to admit you have a problem. It’s ok to make yourself feel better.
So last night as we’re doing our routine, I notice that I’m there. I’m really there. My eyes are seeing you, my ears are hearing you, I’m noticing everything. I’m noticing front teeth that have come all the way in and make your face look completely different and grown up. I’m noticing legs with hair on them that wasn’t there before that predicts rapidly approaching adolescence. I’m noticing pretty little toenails that need painting for when they’re in silver, strappy sandals. I’m there. I’m present. It feels so good.
Before I know it we’re listening to Matthew read books. Four really difficult-for-a-kindergartener books. He’s rolling right along only getting tripped up on words that sound nothing like they look: enough, island, caught. When did he get so good at this? Olivia’s watching and listening with a huge smile on her face. Gabe’s commenting on how some of the kids in his class couldn’t read that book which makes Matthew beam with pride. And I’m there. I see it. I am reveling in it. These are my beautiful, kind, intelligent, marvelous children and I am their mother. This is what it’s about.
After stories are over someone, I don’t remember which one of you, gets the idea to see how ticklish I am. We know you’re super tickly Mama!!! I’m going to get her feet, you get her armpits! Can you stand it Mama? All three of you attack me with your tickles and I am giggling like a madwoman. Honest to God, from the belly, all out giggles. I love it. There has never been a more perfect moment than this, I think. I soon recover and get my tickling revenge on all of you…even the 10-year-old who doesn’t much like being hugged or kissed or cuddled anymore. You are all hysterical with laughter and my face hurts from smiling. It’s perfect. And I’m there. I’m not thinking about sleeping or feeling sad or angry. I’m just there loving life.
I get everyone settled down and tucked in and I take a few extra minutes to chat with you and kiss you and cuddle you and admire all that you are. I try not to think about how in 8 years, one of you probably won’t live at home anymore and I won’t see you every day. It makes me hurt to think of that day. But all I know is I’m so glad I’m not going to miss anymore days between now and then because I’m here now. I go to bed in wonder at these three beautiful souls that I have been blessed with. I’m not sure how I got so lucky, but I did.
I am here. I am present. I am back. I am so happy to be here.