Doing all the things

Settled in the couch corner with my laptop and working through my to-do list — schedule Rachel’s orthodontist appointment, research a new Spanish curriculum for the girls, order the next violin book for —

“Mama, I just want to snuggle,” Prairie says, plopping down next to me and curling close.  She chats about her hair, aerial silks, the dog, her sinus headache…

Back to my list — I search for mattresses which the boys will need for college next month —

“Mama, can you rub my shoulder right here.  It hurts.”  I move my computer from my lap and turn to dig my fingers deep into Lincoln’s muscle.

Next on my list — pay the credit card —

Rachel settles beside me without a word, waiting for me to look at her.  I glance up, knowing I will see her smile, the one that says “I want you to pay attention to me but I don’t want to ask you to pay attention to me.”  Her back is conveniently located within my hand’s reach.  Just in case I should feel like giving her a scratch.

Soon after, I run up the stairs to change clothes.  I have 5 minutes to get ready for a 3 o’clock meeting in town.  “Mama,” says Sidney, catching me midway up the stairs, “I have a video to show you.  I think it will make you smile.”

I think about my to-do list.  I should start every day’s list with “Focused, in-the-moment, attention to each child.”

Lest I forget … while they do need me to be a responsible adult who pays the bills, schedules their dental needs, plan for their education … they need hugs, an attentive ear, massaging fingers, an interested eye, and a scratching hand more.  They need all the things that say “Love.”

Or maybe my to-do list can be squashed to one word — mothering.

The things I hear

“I woke up this morning thinking I had two noses.”   – Sid

 

“I’m going to resume my life tomorrow when I’m less stressed.” –  Prairie

 

Rachel, upon observing a hornet-like insect hovering outside the window “That thing looks like it wants to drill into your soul.”

 

“I’m very used to women liking me.  That’s just how it goes.” – Sidney (He honestly said this without the least bit of arrogance.  He simply recognizes that women of all ages appreciate being treated with respect.)

 

A dialogue between Sid and me, soooo typical . . .

Me – “I love you.”

Sid – “Knowing you as I do, loving me is the best thing for you.”

Me – laugh because really, what can I say to that?

Sid – “You laugh?  It sounds silly, I know, but do you doubt me?”

 

A family dialogue that was about the misinformed reports of teenagers growing horns because of cell phone use . . . and that wandered off track . . .

Rachel – “In the animal kingdom, males tend to have more horny features.”

A short pause, where we all try to contain the guffaws …

Sid – “You have no idea how true that is.”

Rachel, turning as red as her hair – “Let me rephrase that.  I was trying to say that in the animal kingdom, males tend to have horns, but the females don’t.  Like goats.”

The things one hears in this house

“…like a crescent roll of adorableness.”  Lincoln, 17

“Blankets bite!”  Rachel, 15

“I’m swinging my dad’s underwear over my head!” Sidney, 19

“I’m a cat, lady, I don’t know everything!” Prairie, 13

“It looks like you’re trying to digest your stomach with your hands!” Prairie, 13

“Have you ever looked around the room for something, and then realized that you’re sitting on it?” Lincoln, 17

“Thank you so much, that’s much helpfuller.” Prairie, 13