There are currently 8 boys in my living room. There will probably be more later. It’s raining out, so they are all in here.
When I had my boys, everyone wanted to joke “are you going to keep up with your parents?” I’d just respond “No, I don’t actually like kids.” Everyone thought I was joking, and I was serious. I liked MY kids. And, I have been told on more than one occasion, I have no maternal instincts. I won’t argue with it. I remember clearly, sitting in the car, crying to my husband, that I was not cut out for this mom thing.
But, apparently, once children turn 8 or 9, I like them. I like preteens and teenagers. I just am not crazy about little kids.
It would seem all the kids in the neighborhood missed the memo that I am not good at this parenting thing.
Brad laughed at me the other day “Well, Miss I’m Never Having More Kids, how do you feel about your decision now?” You know how I feel about it? Great. If I had more kids would I be as patient? Would I be as willing to overlook the messes? Would I accept one more hug after having little hands pulling on me all day? Would all these boys enjoy being here as much if there were babies eating their Legos and chewing on the Pokemon cards?
I am loving being the spare parent. The person here when there are no other parents here. The one who hears about this one’s fear of lightening, or that one not wanting to tell his parents about his report card. I was happy yesterday when the 13 yr old came up to me in the kitchen and told me of the epic battle that resulted in 5 stitches in his ear, then he got quiet and leaned in “Hey…have you ever had stitches? Does it hurt really bad to have them taken out? I’ll be ok, you know?” I’m there handing out popsicles while another boy is telling me he isn’t worried at all about the mass they found the last time his mom went to the doctor. And, she’ll be ok, right? I mean, doctors know what they are doing, right? I’m the one holding the 8 yr old girl on my lap while she cries because one of the boys called her ugly, and I’m the one yelling at the boy who said it and making him apologize, even if he meant it as a joke.
These kids are getting to the ages they can be left alone, and they are left alone, often. And, they seriously just want somebody to talk to. Somebody to attack hug. Somebody who can calm them down about mom, so they don’t have to upset mom.
I wondered why the kids were here all the time. This area has 200 hundred houses, all built in one of 5 styles. We have the smallest one, and back when Brad bought it, he purposely got the smallest yard, so, why are these kids here all.the.time?
A mom came by the other day to find her kids, and we got to talking. She thanked me. She knows why they are here all the time.She just got started on OCD medication, because she realized she was mad at her boys all day, every day. Because they were boys. And they were messy and loud. She wanted everything perfect, all the time. And, when their 11 yr old selves were less than perfect, she got mad. She was glad they had a safe place to play and make messes and just be kids. And, after sending home messy, exhausted kids all summer, I am the reason she realized something was wrong.
So, I guess I will keep having my tiny house full.
And, it will seem tinier as time goes on, since already the 10 yr olds are my height and they aren’t getting any smaller.