It's been a long week. My boys are on their spring break, and since we don't have travel plans it simply means my kids are home from school for two weeks. Home, here with me, every minute of every day. From previous posts you may know how much I love that. Not so much.
Life, as I know it, basically comes to a halt. No blogging, no hanging out at Starbucks. Did I mention no blogging? The quiet and the hours required to read blogs and write my own are no where to be found among the playdates, Wii tournaments, cookie baking and checkers. The breakfasts, lunches, dinners and housekeeping that comes with having everyone home all day doesn't allow for such luxuries as quiet time.
By yesterday afternoon I was longing for solitude, hungry for it. Thinking again how once these guys are grown, they won't need so much of me. The pull on me and my time won't be as great. I've recently written, from my perspective as a mother with breast cancer, how I wanted my children to grow up as quickly as possible. How I wanted time to breeze along, simply, so I'm still here. I just want, as any mother wants, to see my boys grown, capable and self-sufficient. Not just so they'll be better prepared if something happens to me. It's more for me, really. I don't want to miss a thing. Not a moment, not a milestone, not a tear, not a smile. It's what I want.
But, still it's a fight to keep those desires front and center when I'm giving all I have to these small guys for days on end. Do I want time to pass quickly or take it slow? Which is it and do I really need to choose?
I'm an old mom, on average. My first son didn't appear until I was 40. I was very used to having my own way, using my time however I saw fit and if that meant wasting hours in front of a computer screen or nose-deep in a novel while dust and laundry piled up, well, so what?
The thing is, that lifestyle doesn't work with a family and if it does, I haven't figured it out. So I struggle. I crave for time to wallow away, require it to replenish my spirit, almost like a battery charger, but I'm not too upset I no longer have it.
At nearly 5 and 7, my guys are fun, as well as funny. I love hearing them spout ideas and theories regarding everything from the way birds fly to video game strategy. I'm in awe of their intensity when debating the benefits of jet packs. I love that they can find the idea of spending the day in their pajamas just as exciting as a day at the beach. I love that they still want to hang out with their mommy and daddy.
Yesterday, I unexpectedly found myself alone when my husband took the boys outside to play. My house was suddenly blissfully quiet. Laundry put away, kitchen clean, toys more or less picked up, I sat and pondered my next move. Catching up on blogs seemed like a smart use of time, but that meant I'd have to think about something other than myself for awhile and I didn't feel like doing that. (No offense to my blogger friends.)
Doing absolutely nothing was nice and reminded me of days before children when freedom meant not being responsible for anyone else's care and well-being. It was a sweet thought and I lingered in it for a moment, but it was pushed away as I caught a glimpse out the window of my husband taking a boy in each hand and heading down the road to throw rocks in the stream.
I was blown away by the perfection of it all. I didn't see faces, only the backs of the three men I love most in the world walk toward the late afternoon sun. The two small ones on either side of their daddy skipping down the road.
I could have watched that scene forever, trying to capture it in my heart and memory as I realized these moments truly are brief. I can't rush my boys. Time will have its way and these childhood days will pass in an instant whether I want them to or not. If slowing down means savoring moments like this...I'll take it. Over and over again. And if I have to give up my own quiet time for now, well, so what?