I just saw a woman with the sexiest walk ever. The kind of walk that stops traffic, which is literally what happened. She very nearly caused an accident.
I want that walk. I need it. Now that I’ve seen it and know it exists, I need to find a way to own it. Which is why instead of being quick about picking up the few grocery items that I need tonight, I am prepared to sashay slowly through the produce department until either my hips give out, or someone drops their apples. Whichever comes first.
That awkward moment in the public change room at the pool when you are politely chatting with someone, then you turn away to undress, but realize that they are still talking. So you try to act all casual about public nakedness, and attempt to nonchalantly wrestle your body out of a wet, one-piece bathing suit that has nowhere better to be. As body parts start flying around in all different directions, and sweat begins to bond with the chlorine on your skin causing your bathing suit to suddenly super glue itself to your body, you try to smile and maintain strict eye contact, all the while trying to avoid smacking your head off the lockers behind you and ending up in a pitiful pile of shame on the floor.
I never was very good at small talk. Turns out I’m even worse when I’m naked.
Sometimes, late at night, the soft whisper of feet on the floor gently pulls me from sleep as one of the children appears by my bed, groggy, disoriented, and asking to climb in. I silently lift the covers and shift slightly to allow a warm, tiny body to curl up next to mine. Wrapping my arms around the little person next to me, I feel their heart beating wildly in their chest. I wait for it to slow, for their breathing to deepen, and then I relax knowing that whatever inner storm that woke them has passed. Together we fall slowly and softly to sleep, drifting into dreams that swirl contentedly between us.
The sweetness of the moment is almost enough to make up for the inevitable hour when I wake up to find a foot pressed up against my cheek, followed by flailing arms, a puddle of drool, and missing sheets.
This pretty much sums up what parenting small children is like. Heartbreakingly beautiful moments followed by pain, confusion, mess and exhaustion. One giant ball of unexpectedly difficult joy.
Ever notice how when one (or more) of your kids is acting up, the other siblings suddenly start polishing their halos in an effort to win that much coveted “Kid of the Moment” smile from mom?
Like tonight, for example, when Emma was lying in bed screaming for water, and Isaac was sprawled helplessly across his bed pleading for me to tuck him in again (because he had gotten out of bed after the first time I tucked him in, and now the covers had turned to lead, and he was undoubtedly going to freeze to death overnight). Meanwhile, Gabriel was smiling sweetly up at me from his pillow, quietly boasting about how he had gotten his own water, tucked himself back in, and then “Farted, but kept it under the covers so the room wouldn’t smell.”
The “Kid of the Moment” smile from Mom was well earned by Gabriel tonight, my friends. The other kids got the “Oops! The Kids Pushed Mom Too Far, And Now She’s Got Those Batshit Crazy Eyes Again!” consolation prize.