Sunday, April 12, 2015

How Soon We Forget

Originally published in the Miami News-Record, March 29, 2015

I have written about embracing chaos before – in fact, just a few weeks ago if I remember correctly. I love our chaotic evenings around the dining room table playing games or just acting weird while we sit around talking about whatever rabbits we decide to chase.

But I fear my poor husband has no memory of the chaos we used to experience. He’s adapted to (and for the most part enjoys) teen chaos, but has seemingly forgotten the kid brand of chaos.

Case in point, this past week a dear friend from homeschool co-op came over with her six kids. They range from 3 years to 12 years and they are all so stinking adorable I can hardly contain myself when I’m around them. She has five precious little girls and one awesome little dude. They arrived that morning armed with kites, sidewalk chalk, and bubbles and even though it was a bit chilly, we sat outside and visited while they ran around the field chasing kite strings and each other. Immediately my friend’s boy convinced Sam that a piggyback ride was in order. Kady had the two littlest girls – one on her hip, the other by the hand – and they were trying to fill her in on everything that had ever happened in their lives. Or maybe it was a story about a dog or a flower or sunshine, I’m not sure. Whatever the story was, it was very exciting to them and Kady was nodding her head exuberantly.

My friend and I discussed husbands and jobs, college and Obamacare, being debt-free, homeschooling struggles and triumphs, pets, tattoos, and various other topics. We drank coffee and sweet tea with wild abandon. Being a stay-at-home mom means you embrace that grownup time with all the strength in your weary body and you talk until your jaws ache, laugh until your cheeks hurt, and store away the precious experience of another human being speaking to you without picking their nose or asking you to wipe their butt.

As the day wore on, the kites either ripped or got caught up in our hilltop wind gusts and became frustrating to the little ones, the chalk got boring, and the outside lost its exciting allure, so we suddenly found ourselves sitting across from each other on my couches with eight kids in our conversations. Being mommas, we just kept on talking, while the three-year-old army crawled across the back of the sofa from end of the room, around the corner and back again, and never batted an eye. We just cuddled up with whoever wanted a cuddle, tickled whoever wanted to be tickled, and kept on embracing the last snippets of adult conversation before time would once again force us to go back to “real life”. At one point cupcakes were brought out and the icing was promptly licked off by roughly 2/3 of those present. I was gifted a pipe cleaner crown from her oldest girl. Someone farted. Everyone giggled.

My husband walked in the door at 4:00 to see eight kids and two mommas, and promptly went into panic mode. He smiled, said hello, then walked straight to the bedroom. I could smell the fear. He hid in the garage until they left. When he finally peeked back in the house he grinned and said, “I walked in and there were so. many. little. people…..I panicked. Sorry.” I chuckled and gave a brief overview of the day while he sat wide-eyed. “But how do you two just…handle….all of that noise and farting and giggling and crumbs and sticky fingers???”

I patted his hand and said, “Oh honey, ours used to have sticky fingers and could spontaneously generate crumbs when they hadn’t eaten a thing. They were always running and jumping on the furniture. And well, they still fart.” He shook his head, “You moms are something.”

Yes. Yes, we are. 

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