There are a lot of changes taking place in my world these days. Lately I’ve been pondering the differences in life now, and life as I used to know it. And I’ve been really happy with my findings. Many things have changed about my boys, and about our lifestyle because these pesky kids are growing up.
I remember when silence in my house meant disaster was brewing. I rarely had to look far for the source of the silence, for there was usually a trail. Freshly cut hair, water dripping through the downstairs ceiling from an overflowing sink, or the gentle scratching of a kid drawing on the walls. Silence will freak out a Little Kid Mom. Now, silence means harmony. It means Slick is playing X-Box with his noise-cancelling headphones on and The Caboose is listening to his iPod. Or it means they’re not home, which happens more and more often as they get older. (There’s always something better going on somewhere else. Always.) Which leaves ME with silence. I don’t feel the need to put the TV on for background noise or listen to music. I’ve been waiting a long time for this silence. I’m embracing it.
And hygiene has changed. My kids think they invented the old run-the-water-and-put-on-Axe-Body-Spray trick. (They’re so clever.) Ha! I was doing that back in the 1960s. I recognized it as a sign of maturity when my kids realized showering was actually a good thing. Back then, I couldn’t get them in. Now I can’t get them out.
There was a time when sending my kids to their rooms to lie down was used as a threat. It was actually one of my better negotiating tools. “If you’re going to be cheeky, then it’s nap time.” Much like showering, I realized my kids had come around to the next phase of life when they no longer saw sleep as punishment. I grin when The Trailblazer says he’s going to take a nap in the afternoon. He’s officially a grown-up.
The simple pleasures of being a Big Kid Mom are definitely suiting me. I smile at the Little Kid Moms in the grocery store juggling toddlers and balancing a baby in a sling and pushing a cart. I offer to reach things for them and smile at the “cute” things their kids blurt out. I’m glad I’m no longer one of them. I like being a Big Kid Mom.
I love eating in restaurants and not fearing the disapproval of my waiter when we get up to leave, and the table looks like a F2 tornado has ripped across it. We no longer need to haul crayons and books, sneak in chicken nuggets in my purse, or ask for special concoctions from the kitchen for my picky eaters.
I’m happy that there are no longer designated “play areas” downstairs. Just a couple of dumbbells (the weight-lifting kind, not the kids) sitting next to the TV.
I cherish days that are free from meltdowns over trivial things and drama, drama, drama. (Well, those aren’t completely gone, but they’re less frequent.)
I have a few friends who are struggling with having Big Kids, starting to fear the days when our nests will be less crowded, and we’ll start re-feathering them with sewing rooms and home offices. Not me. I’m picking out the drapes for my woman cave. The one that will have no sports memorabilia or wipe-clean leather furniture. Just a pretty table for my laptop, shelves for pictures of my kids, a comfy chair with floral upholstery and a wine fridge.
So to all you Little Kid Moms, take heed and take heart. It goes by fast. You need to enjoy every moment of diapers, sticky hands, Nick Jr., and kids’ menus. For being a Little Kid Mom is short-lived. Thank God.