I have 4 children. They are 14, 12, almost 9, and 4. We live in a rented 3-bedroom condo for now. It’s not small, but it’s not sprawling either. They have toys, though not as many as when we lived in New Jersey. The “baby”, as I lovingly refer to him as, is the one that has the most toys. He tends to make a BIG mess and does not want to pick his things up. That’s typical behavior for a child his age.
You know what else is typical? Stepping on a Lego or tripping over an oversized toy! It’s ridiculously annoying. When this happens you can hear me scream some expletives, and I know I am not alone in this.
Between all the chaos of the messes, the whining, the complaining, the fighting, the laundry, and the endless need to be fed, I am so grateful for the time I have with them. I know that it moves far too fast, and doesn’t last long enough. One day I will long for the messes. I will long for the complaining, whining, and fighting. I will long to feed a family of 6 instead of 2. I probably won’t miss all the laundry because I hate laundry, but you never know.
What I’ve learned from the Coronavirus is that we all were moving far too fast, and we didn’t spend nearly enough time together. Overall, we weren’t appreciating what we had, what we have, and what we lost, which was time. It’s something we can never get back! It’s something that moves slow when we are unhappy, but fast when we aren’t ready.
I know people want to get back to “normal”, but what is normal? Is “normal” spending less time together as a family? Is it constantly running around and never having time enough for each other? Is it meals on the go, at different times, or even not at all because you were so busy you forgot? I legit saw people on Facebook complaining because their 12-year-old daughters couldn’t get their nails done or their hair re-highlighted! When did this become an important thing in life?
Maybe I am out of touch, a freak, or maybe I am just not normal. I don’t care that my kids are home. I don’t care if they fight with each other. Maybe that is also because when they fight it’s not that bad, and they aren’t fighting like most kids. Maybe it’s because I want to see the mess of them enjoying their childhood. Maybe I long to hear the whining or them calling for me to kiss a boo boo or tuck them in. I don’t care if I have to home-school the kids, and I don’t care if we have to live in a bubble. I just want my kids to grow to be safe, happy, healthy, and prosperous. Most of all, I want them to grow to be productive contributors of society.
So why did I have kids? Because I was an only child growing up and it was lonely. I didn’t want my kids to be alone. I wanted them to have someone in their corner cheering them on, supporting and loving them. I can honestly say my kids love each other with every fiber of their being. They will always have each other’s backs, and they know that family is most important. I had kids to pass on our family’s legacy, and because more than anything, I just wanted someone to call me Mom!