Last night the three big kids all slept on the bottom bunk of the boys’ bunk bed. They left the window open and the fan blowing on them, but it was still hot. I sat up watching the rest of Six Feet Under’s first season, drinking iced peppermint tea. Sophie kept coughing so I went in to give her a sip of my tea and help her get back to sleep. By the time I got to the doorway she was quiet again. The light was dim, but I could just see the shape of Lexy’s leg, hanging off the bed a little. I looked at him in the dark, and for whatever reason it struck me how big he is. He’s nearly tall as I am and where he used to be a little scrawny, he’s now thicker. I feel like he’s starting over again in a way. He grew from a tiny little thing into this boy, and that part is done. Now he’s been reborn as a young pre-teenager and he’s got a whole new sort of life to figure out. We are both novices again. I’m just starting to get a handle on how to parent little kids and he’s suddenly more like a young adult. The man he is going to become is starting to make an appearance.
Later on, I heard Nate get up and do his sleepwalking-pee routine. He gets up in the night because he has to pee, but he doesn’t fully wake up, he just stumbles around until he finds a light and feels linoleum under his feet, then he pees. More than once it has been in front of the dishwasher, because the kitchen light was left on as a nightlight. (I know I should leave a light on in the bathroom, but it shines straight into the bedroom and keeps them up.) So. Last night I intercepted him and steered him by the shoulders to the toilet. I have to lift the seat and everything because all he is capable of is peeing. When he finished he sort of woke up a little and turned toward the mirror. I was standing behind him and crossed my arms over his chest and kissed him on the top of the head. I was looking at his little arms and shoulders and seeing how small he looks now that Lexy looks so big. He looked at me in the mirror and gave me a smile. An all-baby-teeth smile. I love you, Mom, he said. And I got all melancholy because he’s almost done being a little boy, too. I know it’s selfish, but I’m going to miss them wanting to be with me all the time and show me things and talk to me.
I’d best deal with these feelings now. Otherwise I’m going to end up one of those well-meaning but irritating and desperate mother-in-laws someday.
Where did THAT all come from?? I was just going to write something funny about Nate’s nighttime pee adventures.
Edited to add:
Hmmm. After writing that post I did my much loved and too infrequent coffee drinking blog reading. This Jenny said what I wanted to say the way I wish I could say it. Must be something going around this morning.