Even though we say we know better, parents always remember their kids as being younger than they are. Then one day you turn around and wonder where the tall kid with the broad shoulders came from and where is your baby, anyway? He was around here somewhere last time I checked……
This weekend was a series of those moments. Not only did my oldest boy discover he liked reading, he volunteered to join Battle of the Books. *Gasp!* What? Volunteering to read? Looking for books with hundreds of pages and begging to stay up late to finish just one more chapter! Who is this kid?
He also cleaned his room. Let me repeat – he Cleaned. His. Room.
This is the child whose floor was so covered in stuff that he literally had to risk injury and a staph infection to get to his loft. The wall to wall swath of junk was at least a foot deep. His room was a fire hazard, and smelled like gym socks. It felt like the house was leaning to one side like the Tower of Pisa because of the psychological weight of it all.
He worked hard. Every hour or so he hauled a full bag of trash out until he had made six trips to the big bin outside. Not only was his floor completely clean, he sorted all his Legos into boxes (Who knew we had this many Legos?), found dozens of items to donate to Goodwill, and put all the lost game pieces back into each individual game box. Even the closet was cleaned. Although his desk and dresser are still full of clutter, I took a few moments to dust and vacuum when he showed me what he had done. He celebrated by turning up his stereo and dancing like a wild man in the middle of his new, clean room. It was amazing. Now that side of the house feels like it has balloons pulling it into the sky like that house in the movie “Up”.
Sunday night I really did not feel like cooking. It seemed like we had a lot of ingredients in the pantry, but nothing that would pull together into a meal we hadn’t already had a million times. So, I dragged the kids to a local chain restaurant to get take away. We waited in the bar while the food was being prepared, and watched football. Both kids loved it! What a novel thing it was for them to sit at the tall bar and chat with the bartender about their favorite teams. They were beaming by the time we headed home.
I eased up on my “table only” rule, and we had a picnic in the family room in front of an old episode of Hee Haw. I have good memories of watching that show with my family growing up just like I hope the boys will someday cherish good childhood memories of a relaxed autumn weekend with their Mom.
I miss my babies, but love each and every new phase and development in their lives. I can’t wait to see what happens next.