Now you are all probably rolling your eyes right now while you try to figure out just what I am getting at. We all listen and watch our kids, but did you ever take a step back during the day and become an observer, not an active participant, watching your kids like you were viewing a movie about your life?
The car ride
It was during one of our fun-filled car rides to my daughter’s practice-you know the kind where you need to be there in 15 minutes but the kids get off the bus late, and the dog won’t do his business before you go, and then your son needs to go potty too, so now you have 10 minutes and the trip takes 20? Well, we finally pulled out of the driveway and I started playing a Journey CD to calm us all down, and pretty soon I hear a small, girly-girl voice from the back singing along. I just listened, entranced as my daughter sang in the quietest of voices, then my son piped in, complaining that she was singing too loudly and he couldn’t hear the song. (Ugh, here we go…) I was about to step in but stopped and listened as the two came to an agreement. At this point I thought who are these two and where are my actual children since compromise is not a word they understand, but the end result was that my daughter could sing but had to do it quieter and only during the chorus, and I thought that was a pretty good deal, and realized my kids are growing up...
The school week quickly passed and since everyone was pretty beat, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at Chiles. This is my new favorite restaurant because they serve regular kid fare and Margaritas, and who could argue with that combination? (Ok, I’m kidding about the Margaritas. At about $4-$5 a glass in these economic times, plus the fact that having one would make me more than a little loopy, I passed, but it’s just the idea that if I wanted one I could have one and that means I am in a "grown up" restaurant and that makes me happy!)
Once again I took a step back as an active member and watched my family as we waited for our meals. My daughter was engrossed in her coloring so she didn’t notice me studying the time it took her to decide on a color scheme, and how peaceful her face seemed as she finished her project. My husband and son were sitting together, mainly because I don’t have the patience for my son’s constant movement during a meal (he is almost on my lap, and I need my space so I can chew in peace). Anyway, they were quite the noisy bunch due to a rather intense game of Tic Tac Toe. My husband is pretty shrewd because he is able to let my son win in the end without making it seem so obvious, and I sat there watching my freckly faced boy laughing at his latest conquest, and I remember thinking how lucky I am.
Bath time and beyond
Well, we are back to school and work once again, and once again things are hectic because my husband won’t be home until late, so it’s me to look over homework, get dinner, clean up, then do bath time, snacks, and the bedtime story. Phew! I finally got my daughter showered after several false starts, and then it was my son’s turn for a bath. I was going through the motions of rinse and repeat when I noticed his toes. I just happened to glance down and see him scrunch his toes up at the end of the bathtub, and I couldn’t help thinking how tiny they still looked, just like when he was a toddler. It was a comforting thought to think that my baby boy wasn’t growing up that fast.
Later, after our story and after my son was tucked in bed, I went into my daughter’s bedroom to wish her goodnight. I always sit on her bed and rub her back and hair-just as I did when she was a baby-and I listen as she animatedly tells me about four bees being on the bus during her ride home today and the escapade they caused, and once again I am the outsider watching the movie that is my life, and thoroughly enjoying the show…