While the Chicks are still in the Roost

Sometimes I get so tired and bogged down, and I wake up thinking, how soon is bedtime?? All the lunches and the arguing about random stuff, and the laundry, and the fixing the plates, and the laundry, and the arguing, and everything just gets me exhausted. Did I mention the laundry?

I woke up feeling that way today, on this Tuesday that’s acting a lot like a Monday. After a bit of thinking though, I realized something. All my chicks still live under my roof. They go off to school, and I go off to work but we are home together and we sleep in the same house and operate out of one base. The time for this will pass me by, eventually. I see it happening with my dear friends who have children off to college, and the marines. How weird a time for them, to go to sleep not knowing if your little one has gone to sleep yet, or will for hours. How weird is it to not be able to run them some lunch money (not that you want to because frankly they could have asked for it this morning) or to talk with them about something someone said that day and steer them in the right direction? The day will come when all of us being under one roof is the rarity, with most of us scattered about doing our lives.

So today, amid the arguing and plate fixing and chaos, I’m going to just be glad we’re all together.

Under one roof.

Wearing clothes washed together in the laundry.

fam15

Fam16

The Place Between

People always talk about the love a grandparent feels for their child, in fact, my Mother-in-Law, Mattie even told me about it herself one day. “It’s just different than the way you love your own kids. It’s amazing!” What no one ever talked to me about, was how overwhelmingly great it is to see that love, between your parents and your own children.

My boys love to to to their Mema and Pa’s house. Steven’s parents are actively involved in the boys’ lives. The boys know that whole house inside and out, and they cannot wait until it’s their turn to get to go back again.  

Sometimes we have Sunday dinner at Steven’s parent’s house and one of the boys will say something to Mattie, and she will look at him and just smile. And I know I’ve seen that smile before. I saw it in my Grandma Sharp’s eyes when I was a little girl at her house for the weekend. I knew her place inside and out.  There were times, I know she smiled at me like that. As a kid I only half noticed it, as it was quickly forgotten in all the fun and excitement of being at her house. Tucked away in my mind, long forgotten until I’m half blindsided by it as an adult. As I see it right in front of me, looking at my boys.  And the way I hear it in the pride Pa has when he tells you a story about the boys you’ve heard a million times or even witnessed yourself. He can’t help it, he has to tell it. 

If we got to my grandparent’s house before my Grandma got home from work, we would always ask where she was, and Grandpa always said the same thing. “She went to Muskogee.”  Now, we didn’t even know where Muskogee was nor did we believe that she was there, but he could get really convincing and serious in his telling of it, so much so that we probably looked at him like we were halfway to believing it, when she would walk in. When my dad is at our house, he’s always telling the boys something that’s completely not true. He’s very adamant, and they get drawn in and finally he caves and laughs and laughs at his own joke. The same way Grandpa used to chuckle with victory when we’d start believing the Muskogee bit. 

It’s very surreal to find yourself in this middle place. Long gone from your own grandparent’s house and  unconditional love, and seeing it born out in front of you with the generations that sandwich you. Finding yourself wondering what it will be like when those grandchildren are coming to your own house. Hoping that you are able to give to them, what you were given, and what your children received. 

It Happens When You’re Not Paying Attention

It was Christmas morning, the year was 1999. Steven and I had gone to my Mom’s house for the holiday. I was late. Not to my mom’s house, you know, for my “special monthly visitor”. (TMI?? Sorry!) I had already taken a test a couple weeks earlier and it was negative. They always say you should take the test first thing in the morning, so on Christmas Eve, Steven and I drove around looking for some place OPEN so we could buy one. Finally, we found a Walgreens. I woke up first on Christmas morning, hopped off to the bathroom to do my business and saw the positive result. I went back over to Steven and shook him. “Hey, hey, I’m pregnant!!!”  He rolled over and mumbled to himself, “Congratulations”.  Then I heard his snoring. A few minutes later he sat up and said, “Wait, did you say you were pregnant?!”   I’ll never forget it. We didn’t have cell phones and texting like we do now so I went off in search of someone to tell. I found my sister, Amy. I showed her the stick, and with her being 7 years younger than me she just looked at it and said, what is that? What does it mean? I’m pregnant!!  It’s funny how you remember stuff like that.

That Christmas was 13 years ago. Later this year my baby will be a teenager. Yikes. I can’t believe what seems sort of like last year has been that long ago. I know I’ll feel that way again at the other milestones. It’s just crazy to think about.

This weekend, Alex went to his Grandparent’s house for the weekend and when he came home he just LOOKED taller. You know, how kids do that sometimes. They just look BIGGER than the last time you saw them even if it was just a day ago.  So we went to the wall where we do our height measuring to check it out. Sure enough, he was taller than I am. I’m only 5ft and 1/2 inches tall, so it’s not like it’s a major achievement. For us though, it was a milestone. A part of me will always see him as my little Alex. The only Christmas present I even remember from 1999.
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