Friday, October 14, 2011

Growing up.....

Evangeline was lounging in my bed with me and all of the sudden looked up at me, puzzled.

E: "Mommy. What DO you wear to go shopping when you are a grown up?"
K: "What do you mean, baby?"
E: "What do you WEAR to go SHOPPING when you grow up?"
K: "ummm.....I usually wear jeans and a shirt?"
E: (exasperated) "Nooooooo, Mommy....I mean, how do you go shop when you only have kid clothes and you are a grown up?"

I finally figure out Evangeline is under the impression that one day you wake up, and BAM. You are BIG, and all your clothes are still a 5T and there is no way on earth you can go to the Boardwalk to buy big-people clothes because you have popped out of all of your kid-clothes like the Incredible Hulk.

I try to reason with her, explaining that growing up happens slowly and one day you figure out that your clothes are a little tight and you need bigger ones, just like when she grows out of her shoes.  I explain that she will be a teenager before she needs big-people clothes and there are plenty of sizes that get bigger and bigger.

She is clearly not buying it. Not a bit. She looks up at me like I'm the one who just doesn't understand.

K: "Dwen, when you get to be a grownup and your clothes don't fit you can order some off the internet. Then you will have clothes to go shopping in."

(I'm clearly getting better at this parenting thing.)

She grinned and promptly went about her business, having solved the dilemma of clothing herself on the day she wakes up to find she has become a grown up.

In some ways, she's right. There are moments when we realize we are the people making the decisions. We are the ones with the kids. I'm the mom. I'm no longer practicing for life.  I am living it, day by day, and my children are practicing by watching me.  Sometimes it sneaks up quietly like a pair of shoes that get a little tighter on a 4-year-old foot at the end of the summer, and sometimes it is like ripping out of your skin and growing ten sizes overnight.

I'm grateful that kids are like spandex....they hug you tight when you are growing slowly, bit by bit, and stretch at a moment's notice when you need to burst out of your shell to grow up all at once.  Let's hope spandex hasn't gone out of style by the time Evangeline has to shop for her grown-up clothes.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Quiet Reassurance....

Harrisen and I have been struggling with some growing-up lately.  Seems he's having a few "growing pains" that could use a little intervention to smooth over so that he has the best chance of being the coolest, happiest, most successful first-grader he can possibly be.

This has meant a significant lack of sleep for me, a single, working-the-night-shift mommy.  I'm pretty exhausted, both physically and emotionally right now and I'm trying my best to hold it together and get us both over this bump in the road unscathed.

I picked Harrisen up from school the other day to take him to his appointment, and in the car, my fatigue and concern got the best of me. Without the constant banter with sister-girl in the backseat, I felt what I perceived as an uncomfortable quiet settle upon us. 

K: "Little H, I'm sorry I'm not very talkative today. I guess I'm just kinda tired and not feeling like talking much."

H: "It's ok to be quiet sometimes, Mommy. I feel like being quiet, too."

I glanced back at him and saw that angelic face, turned toward the sunshine coming through the car window.  He was smiling.  Not a big smile, but a quiet, content smile. One that told me that just being with me, in the car, on a sunny day, was enough. 

It's humbling when our children speak to us with ageless wisdom.  It was refreshing to appreciate the quiet, reach back and hold his hand, and listen to the silence together.