Legos and Laundry.
These have been in my living room and dining room for over 10 years now.
Should legos be in the rooms where we eat or relax?
I say - YES.
I have wanted to be a mother since I can remember. I babysat most of the kids in my neighborhood. Back when 12-year-olds could safely keep a few toddlers without any cell phones to reach any adults. Back when toddlers were thrilled to have said 12-year-old-neighbor-girl to make them pretend-school-worksheets and teach them how to hopscotch. Those were the days.
Back to the legos and the laundry, there are many days where "I can't wait until this house is in order and everything is in its place and nobody's dirty socks or underwear will be on the floor!". But now that I've had one successfully leave the nest, I don't catch myself wincing over the legos or the laundry as much.
See I know those cleats will be gone one day.
I know that clarinet practice I hear from upstairs will be a distant memory.
I know the messy rooms and the slammed doors and the "WHATTTTT?" of a teenager (with the required eye roll) will soon be in my rearview.
And sometimes it catches my breath.
Because I know.
I know I will go from discussions around algebra to conversations about mortgages.
From little league to stadiums.
From junior Broadway productions to a college stage, perhaps.
It's the perhaps that gets me too.
See they were little, hard to believe but true. No bigger than my short arms could nuzzle.
And I rocked them every night. And I picked out their nursery furniture and their first backpack and their first set of beliefs in many ways.
But they're growing up. And they're SO smart.
They can think for themselves and they challenge me, too.
Make my brain stretch. Make my heart explode. I didn't know it could feel so good and so awful at the same time.
Good that they're becoming themselves and that they're happy.
Awful that I can't protect them and keep them from getting bumped and bruised like we all did.
Now when I hang up that uniform or listen to the show soundtrack for the 100th time, I just smile.
I let the legos pile up. I keep the clean clothes folded in the basket on the dining room table.
And I hold my breath just a few more years and soak in every minute that I can get with them.
How many more loads of laundry will I get?
I think any mother would agree there is never enough.
Written by one sappy mom to anyone else who feels this.
Written when my boys are 10, 12, and 20.
Written when I'm sandwiched between launching children and caring for aging parents.
Written when the world seems automated and conversations seem rare.
Written with my own youth creeping toward my rearview, with a coffee mug in my hand,
and a knowing heart swollen in my chest.