(Written: September 2017)
I have 3 kids: 13, 11 and 8. They just started back to school on Wednesday. Of course, it wasn’t a full day. I mean, why would the schools give parents full-fledged freedom, when we can get by with just a glimmer. I mean, after spending the past 72 or so days with my THREE children, every day – all three (did I mention that I have three?), why would I want more than just a few hours of peace & quiet?
But now that the dust has settled, and we are back to our routines, and they are out of my sight for 6 hours…I miss them.
I admit it. I MISS THEM!
Since I have my own business, I have the luxury of making my own hours as well, so my time is certainly flexible. So, am I getting my nails done? Massage? Lunch with the girls? No. No, I’m not. You know what I AM doing? Preparing their lunches for the next morning. Doing the laundry so they’ll have their favorite GREEN DAY concert shirt.
And when I say I’m preparing their lunches, I’m talking homemade pinwheel roll ups of turkey and cheese, salami, bologna with lettuce – complete with napkin, condiments and healthy snacks.
My husband came around the corner and saw me packing the kids’ lunches in their backpacks, “You coddle them.” he smiled. Why, because when the kids come down for breakfast, the table is set with their cup of milk and favorite breakfast? Or because their clothes have been washed, folded and put away in the appropriate drawers? Or is it because after they all leave, I make all the beds? Coddle, you say? CODDLE?
Of COURSE, I CODDLE! Of course. I’m the mom. I waited 36 long years to have children. After 2 miscarriages and 3 at-risk pregnancies, I am going to cherish every single minute. I am going to let them be little for as long as they want.
They have the rest of their lives to grow up; to worry about the responsibilities that life will present to them. So while they live in their childhood home, they will be children. They will laugh and burp, and yes maybe even fart. They will be silly. They will not have to take on the responsibilities that they will have to do for the rest of their lives.
I know I’ll take heat for this — and I’m okay with that.
My mom’s biggest expectation of me was cleaning my room every Saturday. She did it all. I didn’t have to make my own lunches, empty the dishwasher, cook dinners…and if I forgot something she never once said, “Oh well!” She brought it to the school and hugged me goodbye.
So, I may be old fashioned. I may be the exception and my thinking may be outdated. But childhood happens just once. And then it’s gone. Forever.
Let them be little.