This morning, I woke up and all the kids were awake. The little ones were working on a project for Santa. They were using green and red duct tape to make giant letters that said, To Santa. They started this project last night and were excited to finish it this morning. My oldest daughter was sitting close to them and chatting with them, while she was chatting on skype with a friend.
This juxtaposition, for me, exemplifies the tween stage. Being close to her siblings, but not working with them, while I am in bed four feet away on the other side of the wall. Having the stability and comfort of family, while venturing out into the world. This feels perfect to me - healthy growth and expansion, yet still close and safe and protectable by me.
The light was shining bright and made the room feel warm and cozy. It was the perfect kind of warm. The kind you appreciate. The light’s trick - making us think it was warmer outside than it really was.
There was, unbelievably, no quarreling, no fighting, no teasing, no aggravating. I’ve heard these are normal, but I honestly believe this stuff is worse in our house than most. The attention deficit disorderd kids just move their bodies and mouths twice as fast and twice as loud as most. Not today. The little ones were working together as if world peace might be just within grasp.
They went to get dressed and gather their things for school. I made them toast and a smoothie and fried eggs because they were being so delightful.
Sally said her feelings were hurt because her big brother didn’t say hi to her when he passed her at school. He tried to make excuses, but I know how he gets caught up and likes his own life at school. We talked about how close these two are, and how family will always be there for us, even when friends aren’t. He said, “I’m sorry, Sally, Next time I will say hi.” She nodded, silently communicating that that would make her feel more secure in this world.
We sang together on the drive to school, and Chaucer helped Sally read a book. I was so lonely when I dropped them at school. I wanted them to stay. I wanted it to last.
I wrote this as part of Heather at The Extraordinary-Ordinary’s Just Write exercise. Head on over if you want to learn and read more.