Photo: The Husband and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary with flowers, cake and duck this weekend. I really can’t believe how quickly the time passes. I am so grateful for my generous, kind, and brilliant partner.
We had one of those family moments on Saturday that made me have to get under the covers and giggle for a second. The Husband and I decided to sleep in late. I’d set the coffee maker to go off at 7:45, but I told myself I might not get up until 8:30 maybe…
Well, little boys were up at 7:30. When the coffee maker went off (it’s loud. We’ve got a grind ‘n brew that sounds like a rocket going off inside the house), they used that as their signal to get out of bed.
They did one of those things that reminded me of my own childhood. Opening up their bedroom door to finding a house not awake and not in motion, they stood in the door frame clutching the collars of their shirts in trepidation. Should they venture out? Where are Mommy and Daddy? Still sleeping? They never do that!
Not having my glasses on and hiding a bit under my blanket, I watched the whole thing play out: them standing at their door, looking around, then at each other. Them whispering to each other and making a decision. Minor decided to go back to his bed to wait it out. Major stood there trying to decide if he was brave enough to go forward.
He found his bravery. One step (a waddle, to be honest). Two. Three. Across the little hallway. Into our doorway. A pause, a lean. This is all new territory. What to do next..?
“Mommy, are you awake?” He whispered.
I kept my eyes closed. The Husband, I think he was still asleep, but maybe not.
I don’t know why I let him wonder. Maybe because I remember being a little girl venturing up to my parent’s bedroom while they were still sleeping. I remember my heart pounding because somehow I knew that waking up Mommy is probably a bad idea, but I needed something. There is something magical about the intensity of that moment, when as a young kid you’re making a what feels like a high-stakes choice: I need my parents for such-and-such, but I understand that waking them up has the potential of making them angry. Actually, I have no idea how they are going to react, but my gut tells me that it’s probably negative. Is it worth it? Probably? Maybe not.
So I let him have his moment of doubt, listened to his little footsteps come closer to the bed. He didn’t actually make it to the bed. He just raised his voice above a whisper.
“Mommy? I have to go to the potty.”
“Alright, baby. Go on to the potty,” I said, leaning my head up from the pillow now.
He stared for a second. I was probably a bit of a sight: no glasses on, locs wrapped up in my satin scarf, sleepy look on my face. Then there came relief, like, “oh good, she didn’t yell at me.” He toddled on over to the bathroom and I didn’t follow. The Husband turned over and got up as if he was going to go, too, but I stopped him. I wanted to know if Major could manage to go do it all by himself without any sort of intervention: go to the potty, wash your hands, get rid of your sleep diaper, go put underroo on. Simple tasks. He does them every day. But with coaching.
It took him a while… long beats between that potty and the handwashing… and handwashing took much longer than our usual singing of the ABC’s… but he did it. When he was done, he went back to the nursery, where Minor was up and ready for his turn. Understanding that nobody would be mad about it, Minor came bounding into our room with a laugh and a loud voice. “I’m going to the potty!”
I guess we had to get up at that point. It was still a great moment. I think we all learned a little something about how weekend mornings can go from now on.
There have been quite a few moments like that this weekend. Little boys flexing their independence muscles, asserting themselves in new ways. Suddenly they want to serve themselves at the table. Suddenly they want to choose their own outfits. I’m pleased and surprised. They are such powerful little things. Quite amazing. I don’t mind letting them set some of the agenda around here.
They had me thinking all weekend about what to do with them. Especially because I’ve been thinking about next year and all the choices we’ve gotta make for new schools. I had this crazy idea that I took to The Husband.
“What if we put Major in half-day kindergarten [it would be free] and put Minor in [a cheaper preschool for 3 mornings a week], and then take the money we’re getting back and put them in some other activities. Like dance? or swimming or something?”
I love The Husband so much. He sorta nodded and looked at me. “So you realize you are trying to sign up for another year of no time of your own. You realize that, right?”
“I do. But I just wonder it would be best if we did that. So they don’t fall behind, you know?”
He’s got the patience of Job. He was like, “we can talk about that. We’ve got a few options here…”
My grandmother was more straight forward: “Those boys are fine. Stop fussing so much! And there is no reason why that boy shouldn’t be in full-day kindergarten next year. Don’t even compromise on that. Set your sights on it and then talk about all the other stuff.”
I’m probably losing it. Not enough sleep after all.
But look at this child at the gymnastics birthday party we went to on Saturday!
I’m telling you, he did this jump no less than 10 times! It’s hard to keep the priorities in check sometimes when you discover how amazing they are. You just want to pick up stuff and run with it, everything else be damned.
But resources are limited… time, money… and thus we make choices. I’m always telling other people to stay focused. Gotta look in the mirror sometimes.
Thank goodness for the 3-day weekend. I’m feeling refreshed and caught-up today. The house is in good shape, my outline is almost done… and I’ve got 4 awesome mentees for this year’s NaNoWriMo already! My goal: have this outline completely done by Friday so that I can work on another outline before NaNo starts.
Crazy, I know. But I’m chasing dreams, so that means I need to keep moving.
Let’s be productive together this week, Dear Reader. What are you up to?