Monday, August 20, 2012

Someday We'll Miss This

Lucy didn't nap. So after bath and reading Oh The Places You'll Go she was in bed by 7:00.  I didn't hear a peep from her after that.

The baby started rubbing her eyes at 6:30.  After a bath, snugly jammies and little Sandra Boynton, she was also in bed at 7:00.  She fought sleep a little harder.  I gave her some water and albeit a little fussing, she figured it out all on her own.

William had taken a nap that afternoon.  A rare event for this almost-six-year-old.  So after his bath and some very good behavior that day, I obliged to his week-long begging to play a certain game on the computer.

Brian cleaned the kitchen.  I ironed some of Lucy's nicer dresses.  Then we both collapsed on the couch to watch Meet The Press, recorded from earlier in the day.  Because we're old.  Or because we like to be informed.  Take your pick.  Then we watched the second half of a movie we couldn't finish on Saturday night because I was too sleepy.  Because I'm old.  Or because I'm pregnant.  Take your pick.

Shortly before 9:00 William asked when it was time for him to go to bed.  Which meant, it was time for him to go to bed.  Hugs and kisses and a little boy in Green Lantern undies and a white Hanes tee was headed up the stairs with his dad where he would find sleep in no time on his top bunk with his Lightning McQueen pillow.

Three kids.  Three bed time routines.  Done.

Brian came back down the stairs.  He said, "Someday we'll miss this, you know."

"I know." I said.

"In five years the new baby will be five.  And William will be almost 11.  Maybe he won't want us to put him bed anymore.  Maybe we'll say 'it's time for bed' and just like that he'll go upstairs to read books or whatever."

At first he had a relieved tone in voice.  Like, someday we will arrived at the intersection of Life and Easy.  But at the end, I could hear the sentimental tone as the thought escaped his lips.

"When are they cute?" He asked me.

"What do you mean?  They're cute now."

He said, "The new baby will be five.  In five years.  We'll be out of the cute stage."

"Probably to other people," I said, "But for us the baby will always be the baby and even at five we'll still think he/she is pretty cute."

"Yeah," he said, "But what about now?  I mean I know Lucy screams a lot, but she's pretty dang cute with her dancing and singing and antics.  Pretty soon that's going to go away and she's just going to be...a kid."

"Yes," I said.  "What about Katherine?  Remember how she was laughing at you at the restaurant today?"

"Yes," he said.  Both of us remembering Brian doing his famous Brian laugh in the middle of the diner.  The one where his face gets all red and the vein on his forehead pops out.  It's a loud, contagious laugh.  And Katherine knew it.  And continued to egg him on.

A few days ago we were arriving home from somewhere and we cut it too close to Katherine's bed time.  She fell asleep in her car seat.  So I picked up her little body, held her close and wrapped a blanket around her as I walked her from the garage to the house.  She tucked her knees up and curled into a little ball, her tired head on my chest.  As I watched the other two kids run ahead of me with their long limbs and able bodies, all the sudden the tiny-ness of Katherine against my body struck me even more.  We waited by the backdoor as Brian unlocked the house and I swayed back and forth with that babe against me.

"See?"  I said, "This is why it's going to be hard for me to ever say 'no more babies.'"

There's no doubt that life is busy right now.  There are always three kids who need me at the exact same time.

It's frustrating.  And maddening.  And annoying.  And completely self-sacrificing.

But also sweet.  And funny.  And rewarding.  And completely fulfilling.

There are parts I want to get rid of.  And parts I want to bottle up and keep forever.

But babies don't keep.  And neither do toddlers.  Or preschoolers.  Or kindergartners.

Someday, at the intersection of Life and Fill-in-the-Blank, I know we'll miss these days.

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