Right now, I am thankful for the mounds of laundry needing my attention, the socks and shoes left haphazardly near the couch. I’m grateful for the dirty underwear on the floor in the bathroom and the smeared toothpaste in the sink. I am glad to see nail polish and ponytails all over the house. I’m thankful to have cups with a few drops of who-knows-what left on the coffee table. I’m grateful to pull bobby pins out of the washer and dryer with nearly every load. I’m thankful to have a mound of shoes sitting on the floor of the closet, not put into their cubbies but left deserted just next to their supposed-to-be home.
Before you think I’ve gone crazy and lost my mind completely, I want to reassure you that these things still make me nuts. But I’ve been seeing them through a slightly different lens lately. This year the Boy is a freshman. He’s in high school. His voice is changing, he’s now taller than I am … and he stinks. As in body odor. The kind of “musk” boys get when their hormones and sweat glands seem to have daily contests to see which can wreak the most havoc. I can tell you that the sweat glands have been winning that battle so far.
I’m a high school teacher. I’ve seen how this goes down. I’ve seen how fast this goes down. It won’t be long and we’ll be shuffling the Boy off to college to live on his own. No more dirty socks to clutter the floor. No more bags of bread left wide open tattling on his latest snack. No more of his laughter filling the rooms of the house. No more “Hey, Mom, I’m home” as he walks in the door. No more daily hugs. No more of my little boy.
I’m not going all Cherish Every Moment with this because that’s still bullshit. There are many, many moments that I don’t ever want back. I don’t want the ones when he was screaming for hours as an infant and I felt helpless not knowing what to do. Not the times when he was out of control and every second was a fight to do the littlest thing. Not the times that I walked away from him for his own well-being because I was so infuriated that I was shaking.
I’m not going to stop telling him to pick up his clothes from the floor of his room. He’ll still have to do dishes and laundry. He will continue to mow the grass and help carry in groceries.
But right now, in this moment, I’m thankful to look around and see evidence of his presence. I’m so glad to know that tomorrow I get to wake up to his happy “Good Morning, Mom!” I’m so happy to know that I get to joke with him about something we watched on YouTube. And I’m so grateful that he’ll get to bombard me with hugs at the most inopportune moments … because he’ll still be here.
But I know it won’t be long and my Boy will be on his own and we’ll feel the empty void. We’ll miss his teasing and goofing and the way he can lighten the mood with a silly voice or impression. We’ll miss his nicknames for us and him saying “remember when …” I’ll definitely miss the snuggles.
And it will just be Hubby, the Girl and me. But not for long because she’s only two years behind him. And tonight she went on her first “date”–with her boyfriend and his mom. It won’t be long and her dates won’t be chaperoned and she’ll be driving herself where she wants to go.
We’ve already said goodbye to pigtails and ruffle socks. The days of sucking her thumb are long gone. She doesn’t need me to do her hair. No more bedtime stories.
It won’t be long and we won’t find her clothes all over the house. No trails of hair clips and earrings leading the way to her room. None of my clothes found crumpled in a mountain of teenager clothes by her bed.
No more girl talks and cuddling in bed. No more fun making guacamole and nearly “taste-testing” the whole batch. No more “quick” trips to the grocery store turning into our own little sitcom. No more goofing and laughing at our simultaneous clumsiness. No more I Love You, Too, More, Most, Best, Best Than Ever competitions.
It won’t be long and she’ll follow her brother’s lead–out into the world, on her own. For now, I’m watching my little girl become a young lady who will turn into a woman. No more Mommy’s Little Girl.
So, today I am thankful for all the reminders that the Boy and Girl are still here. Because it won’t be long, and I’ll miss their mounds of laundry.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. The prompt was “Right now I am thankful for …”