Some days I feel smothered. I think the longest I've been able to go upstairs by myself before someone starts calling for me is 3 min 48 sec. Every second of the day someone is in need of a snack, a paper signed, their hair combed, a lost blankie found, a shoe tied, a nose wiped, a band-aid put on, a fight resolved, a bum wiped, a lego ship fixed, a show turned on, a drink of milk poured...and it is always demanded in the loudest voice known to man. I'm guilty of looking longingly at those childless moms strolling pleasantly along the Pack n Save while my basket is filled with at least 3 boxes ripped open, a package of bread smashed and a trail of raisins following us wherever we go. And in my mind I wish that Ryder would hurry and grow up. Looking back I've realized I've subconsciously been doing that all along. I started planning for Kylie's wedding while she was still in utero, and before she was even a month old I already had her in jeans with painted toe nails. Just writing this and admitting it out loud is making me really sad. This has been weighing on me a lot lately after having a conversation with Grandma Judy. Her son was coming to visit from Australia, she hasn't seen him in 3 years and it was all she had talked about. You could see her eyes light up every time she mentioned his name, she told me about all the plans she had for them together. He was going to be here for 3 weeks and having him teach her how to snowboard in Queenstown was going to be the highlight. They had one weekend together then he rented a camper van and toured the island with his girlfriend instead. She wasn't even invited to Queenstown. He's not a bad son, it's just what happens when kids grow up. Gradually they will all learn to get drinks for themselves, wipe their own bums, tie their own shoes and no longer need me to kiss their ouchies better. I will be left with a quiet, clean house, no finger prints to wash from windows and no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to make. What used to look like luxury is looking an awful lot like lonely. So yesterday we flew kites and watched the kids do a spontaneous haka dance in the woods. Today I let Ryder bring the salad tongs while we ran errands, I didn't skip every other page while reading stories, I let him climb into the car by himself even though we were late and I let him sleep with a wrench and block of wood. I still got mad when he pulled all the stuffing out of his pillow at naptime, but today I tried my best to just let him be little.
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