My kids are growing up.
They are getting more capable, starting to do stuff for themselves. They are changing at different rates. My son still likes help getting dressed, my daughter still likes to be fed from time to time. Both still love to hold my hand – which is an honour and a joy, and will soon be uncool I’m sure.
They clamber for kisses and rush to our bed in the mornings for a communal cuddle. Don’t get me wrong, it’s complete and utter bliss, but there are starting to be windows……
He likes time alone to tinker with Bionicles or Lego, especially after a busy day. He will become a man who needs a shed I’m positive. He needs space and privacy from time to time, and emerges happy and re-centred.
She is toilet trained at last! Whoot! She likes to quietly sort through her button collection. She feeds ‘baby’ and tucks her into bed. She dresses in outlandish creations to impress the masses. She doesn’t like some thing (or perhaps she does) today. She likes her own space from time to time.
After years of constant attention, there are brief little windows of space to be enjoyed. Not furtively and artificially created through a chain of distractions, but natural spaces that open and remain present for the enjoyment of all. I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That in an afternoon, one may be reading to himself while the other draws in a book she got from her own shelf, without spilling over the to the tablecloth. The possibility that the garden will be a source of entertainment in itself instead of a corral and escape from the just-tidied house. Dinner cooked slowly and thoughtfully, instead of thrown together and left to simmer on the stove or in the oven, because there is no other way.
The possibility that I may be able to read a magazine without being interrupted constantly with cries of MAAAAAM – which makes me involuntarily exhale and constricts my breathing momentarily. The knowledge that they are safely home and doing their own thing happily, while I am doing mine.
The next stage is opening up, and the fresh air is coming in. Ahhhh windows.