Having kids is a bit like falling down the rabbit hole in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. You are entering a zone of peculiar creatures. There’s no set of instructions to do it well. You come out the other side hoping you’re all in one piece. And (more than occasionally) you wonder “How am I going to get out of here?!”
I am terribly guilty of looking at a stage in life that I do not enjoy as if it will always remain the same. For example, my dreaded task of finding a babysitter for the last eleven years. Coordinating schedules with impossibly busy teens is not high on the list of fun things to do (because really, aren’t all the good ones uber-busy and sought after?) All while hoping their scheduled time with my little darlings doesn’t rate down somewhere with cleaning out the lint trap or taking out the garbage. And then panicking when their scheduled time DID rate down there and I am left holding the bag – a.k.a all ready and going nowhere fast? You get it, I have an aversion to finding babysitters.
But just as the seasons change, these times do not last forever. There will actually come a time when a sitter won’t be required. When my kids will be so grown up and responsible they will not need my constant protection, supervising or behavioral corrections. I can’t imagine that time, but I am told by those who made it out of the rabbit hole that it will happen.
Little glimpses do exist if I look hard enough. In the morning I enjoy simply waving goodbye to Techno as he shuffles his way to the bus stop down the street. It was kind of a big deal for his Mom last year when for the first time the bus did not pick him up at the end of the driveway. It was surreal that he would actually walk out of the house, go down the street – and out of sight – and I would not witness him get on the bus.
Of course he enjoyed the independence. Hanging out with the neighbor boys, talking about whatever fifth, sixth and seventh grade boys talk about (do they actually talk directly to one another at this age?) and realizing himself how much he is growing up.
Some mornings he runs so late there isn’t even time for goodbye. But he is the best waver. Not once, not twice but some days three times over the shoulder I get that sweet smile and a wave. And I am reminded that it still feels like I have lots of time left with my peculiar creatures. But I know that is just a fantasy land.