Book Note: The Buried Giant
Book List: Books I Want to Read Right Now, But Can’t Because I Have To Be A Responsible Grown Up

A Right-Now Moment

This morning, I slept in to a glorious 9:00 a.m., and then I got up to make breakfast for Kaleb. Jake and Nathan (being teenagers) were still asleep, and Kendell was working on homework, so it was just me and Kaleb in the kitchen. Scrambling eggs, cooking buttery hash browns, serving up orange juice. Talking about his favorite music (Imagine Dragons and One Republic) and the birthday party he went to yesterday and how excited he is for school to be out.

I feel like I’ve made great strides, lately (a lot of them since writing this post, which helped me process in ways I didn’t know I needed to process), in enjoying my teenagers. I’ve worked to stop referring so much to their younger years and to love them for who they are right now. I am happier as a mom and less acutely-tuned to my mistakes. I’m much more aware of the goodness that comes in having teenagers. We’ve had some really great conversations and I feel like things are more open and honest and healthy for all of us.

I have some great teenage boys.

But I am also grateful I still have a little one. I’m grateful to be reminded to play, to run outside, to fill every free second possible with kicking a soccer ball. Sure, he’s not little little anymore. He’s almost getting preteen-ish. But he still does some little-kid stuff. He’ll curl up next to me in bed sometimes. He tells me all of his stories. He says sweet and innocent funny things. (Like last week, when he was telling me what he learned in his language arts class about Greek myths, and I helped straighten out the details of the Persephone story. When I said, “so Persephone gets to spend the spring and summer with her mother, Demeter, and that’s why there are flowers then. Six months with her mom,” Kaleb said, “six months solid with your mom? That’s probably good enough” and it still makes me laugh.) Maybe that’s it—that he still has the innocence of childhood. He still loves gently and simply. It’s uncomplicated and sweet.

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(I have a high forehead...but somehow in selfies it looks ridiculously, weirdly high)

There are five and a half years between Nathan and Kaleb. Sometimes this big age gap is a problem. Sometimes (OK, quite often), I wish I would’ve had one more baby, right after Kaleb was born, so that he could have a sibling his age. But sometimes the gap is perfect. Having a little one while you also have teenagers means living with feet in both sides of motherhood. It is a balancing act, but it keeps you even. It gives you perspective—the little one won’t always be difficult in the way that little ones are, the teenagers weren’t always difficult in the way they are now. It is a peace and a comfort having a little hand to hold.

One day soon, Kaleb himself will be a teenager. Considering that age gap, there will be a good long while when he’s the only kid in the house. The only teenager. It does make me worry: how will I cope with him being a teenager without having a little one to balance me out? Maybe I’ll have a grandchild by then. Maybe Kendell will just have to buck up and deal with me getting a cat. Maybe I will find something else I don’t know about that will make things be OK.

It won’t always be like this: high schoolers and grade schoolers, all in one house. It is a good, sweet, busy time of life. And it felt important this morning, while we cooked eggs and giggled because I spilled the orange juice, to put it down in words so I don’t forget. 

Comments

Vickie

I remember two of my boys at that age- it was the best. There's something about a boy...especially when there's that age gap and you get to just enjoy their company.

Margot

Yeah, go for the cat, Amy!

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