Silence. That elusive and intoxicating lack of sound. The moments a mother has to herself when the sound of her children sleeping takes place of the daily bustle and grind...
I lay awake tonight, unable to sleep and fully aware that in 6 hours, my world will be chaotic again. I will be unable to sit on the sofa without a child in my head. I will be unable to use the bathroom without a frighteningly captive audience. I will not know how to talk, but only how to respond to incessant whining. But asking with that, the hugs and kisses and cuddles and smiles and laughter and joy and love and genuine goodness.
Sleep is overrated. But silence is not. Without these moments alone, my husband snoring gently beside me, my girls asleep upstairs, I would not have the time I need to recharge and find the peace within myself that I desperately need to keep up with my insane children.
What nobody tells you when you are expecting a new baby is that motherhood is both the best and most exhausting job you'll ever undertake. Sure, I spend 40+ hours with teenagers 9 months out of the year. I attend inservices and trainings and extra duties throughout the whole year. That's exhausting. But add to that the constant needs of your own household, and the exhaustion is tenfold. It burrows into your soul and feeds on every hope you have of being a good parent. The thing is, though, that because you get up each morning and feed the kids and dress then, you shuffle of to Kindergarten and daycare and then the commute to work where you then shuffle through the needs of a hundred other children, you come home again, feed and bathe your kids and read them as bedtime story and then realize you've forgotten to eat, because of this you are already a great parent.
You were present today in what your child needed. Some days I just need someone to remind me of that.
So, Natalie finished Kindergarten last week and also had her tonsils out. She's a first grader now and so far from my tiny baby girl. She still cuddles, though. Sometimes too much, because I find it hard to breathe worthy an elbow in my throat! Caitlin has one more year before Kindergarten, and then she's off as well, running to activities and wearing me out even more. But because I'm here, it's enough.
Tonight, I enjoy the silence. Tomorrow, we play!