I wasn’t trying to stare. But I kept stealing glances. Looks a lot like a stroller, but definitely a wheelchair. Somewhere around age 6 to 8. Large head. Thick glasses. Spastic stiff legs. The mother sat beside me. We were waiting for the eye doctor. Seth was back for a check-up about his left eye which tended to drift off and find its own interesting things to look at, but was now behaving and working as a team player with the other eye.
The doctor was running unusually late. We mentioned that to each other. Slowly we chatted a little more – she’s 5, 77 pounds, can’t walk, doesn’t sleep so the mother is up for two nights and sleeps two nights. “You going to be here for a few minutes?” (apparently!!) “Oh yes,” I responded and she went off to the bathroom. She was so thankful when she returned, saying that she never does that – leaving her daughter alone – but she just had to. I commiserated that she must spend a lot of time at appointments. I’m not sure I could do that.
My boys jump off couches (even the 2-foot-24-pound 2-year old), dive into pools, and climb trees…all today. They cut each others’ hair, spill milk on the carpet, and kick in glass windows. They irritate each other. They irritate me. They fuss, they whine, they yell (well, so do I). Yet, they are (generally) healthy and full of life. They are exhausting, but they are full of life.
We visited with a friend of mine at a new pool today. Micah and Noah ran in and out of the water (the lifeguard says “no running,” the Mommy says “no running,” the paint on the cement says “no running”)….Micah and Noah ran in and out of the water and up and down a little hill. Seth chased them except whenever they got close to the water and Mommy blocked his goal. As she left with her two small quiet children, my friend remarked, “wow, they are really active. I don’t know how you do it.”
I guess if I would pause to think of what an energy drain they are (as I am now), I would be totally and completely exhausted (as I am now). Throw the football. Throw the baseball. Hit the birdie. I think I have lateral epicondylitis (pain) in my right elbow tonight after a full day of throwing.
And sometimes I pause and wonder if I’m just being too carefree with them. Should I reign in some of that energy? Should I be more firm? Are they too rambunctious? These are questions that are probably too reflective, too serious for someone in my exhausted condition….
Overheard in the other room: “Look, I have painted fingernails….isn’t that awesome?”
“I love you this much, Noah.” “I love you to the sun.” “Oh, yeah, well I love you to Pluto, Noah.” (still wanting it to be a planet) “Yes, but I love you to New Jersey…that’s far isn’t it?”
“Mommy, when I grow up, I’m going to be Mr. Incredible. He’s stronger than the whole earth!”
“You had a really good day today, Micah.” “I know – I was only in time-out one time, or maybe two times. That’s good. That’s much better than 6 or 7 times.”