You know that strange feeling that settles over you if you’ve ever been away from you kids for more than a day or two? That somehow in the hours you weren’t with them they grew in ways imperceptible to world at large yet glaringly obvious to you. I haven’t technically been away but I am very much out of the boys’ loop as I continue my lengthy wisdom teeth recovery.
They seem older somehow. Even in the picture above they seem to resemble young men more than little boys.
Just when you think you are out of the woods, reality will come back and smack you in the face. I like to believe that the physical/hands-on part of raising my boys is getting easier. And it is. Yet there are still moments when I look into the eyes of my offspring and all I see is a never-ending pool of need.
I had picked up T.Puzzle midday from school. He needed his booster shot for the flu vaccine. We were miraculously in and out of the doctor’s office in ten minutes flat (no lie!). We had time to kill until we picked up Full Speed from kindergarten. We headed to the park.
T.Puzzle was doing great, climbing everywhere and tumbling down the slides. I was enjoying myself reveling in the freedom of being able to step back and watch him. Suddenly he runs towards me holding his bottom.
Uh oh. The holding of the bottom is never a good sign.
“I needa use the bathroom!” he exclaims.
Of course he does. Of course we are at a park with no operational toilet facilities. Of course. Of course.
I grab him and sprint to the car, he’s miffed at me because he is leaving the fun. I get him strapped in as quickly as possible and hightail it to a nearby Burger King. We race to the bathroom and make it in the nick of time.
While in the stall I have a moment where I feel the frustration rise. The seemingly endless inconvenient potty moments specific to early childhood are getting to me. The feeling that no matter how far I’ve come in motherhood, I am still a slave to my children and their needs. I look at T.Puzzle. He looks at me.
“I really love you, Mommy. I really love you all the times,” he says.
Oh, so that’s why it’s a good thing your kids can learn to talk. When they are this small and verbal sometimes they say the perfect thing when you need to hear it the most. T.Puzzle helped shift me out of my frustration and focus on what’s important. And no, I’m not talking about improving the cleanliness of Burger King’s bathrooms because clearly this is an issue, too. It’s about remembering when you are up to your Mommy-eyeballs in dealing with the needs of everyone but yourself, that you do it out of love. If you hang in there, make a good effort and keep your intentions clear, you will make it through.