Just Write {177}

March 3, 2015

I made them pick up all the Legos, again. They thought it would be way too hard, again, and threw UGHHHH at me. One asked me why I always make that terrible threat, that I will sell them. (The Legos, not the children.) I don’t know, I said. I guess I just figure that if you can’t clean them up, I don’t want them here. But you’re right, threats are kind of lame.

From downstairs I could hear the clanking of the plastic, the distinct Lego sound. The boys found a system, of scooping with a plastic bin’s lid, like a dustpan. Then one of them appeared next to the couch, hopping up and down and asking for food. His brother was right behind him, asking to play the XBox. Their little sister abruptly stopped playing to ask to watch a movie, if her brothers were playing XBox. I looked at all three of them, in turns, still somehow astonished at their moment by moment requests. I laughed. I said yes to everything. It’s the weekend, we’re finally home together, not running. Have at it. Eat all the things, spend some time on the screens, play, lather rinse repeat.

In the midst of it all, they did what siblings do. They fought, tattled, whined, lather rinse repeat.

I repeated myself, took deep breaths. Made eye contact with the window pane, staring out, trying again. Did dishes, talked on the phone, changed the laundry, put things away, worked a little on a laptop, but stopped a lot to break things up, take the breaths, be their mother. We made it through, and the boys even played outside for a while. We are cabin-fevered like in most places right now, and this did them good, the fresh (freezing) air.

My insides want the outside to warm up so much it hurts. I want to sit outside, just for five minutes, comfortably, taking in the sun, a breeze, the smells of spring. All of me is aching for spring.

At night I read with Elsie, then we both lie down. I tickle her back, say prayers, remind her to be still and take deep breaths to calm down and just.be.still. She falls asleep and I drag myself upright, ask her brothers to brush their teeth. Ask them again. Ask them to be quieter for their sister. Remind them to brush their teeth again. I breathe deep and remember that I don’t want them to grow up. I really don’t. They are already breezing through the seasons, no matter how long winter lasts.

We head downstairs after all the reminders and they draw and read, while I sit on one bed one night, the other the next. I draw or read too, but we mostly end up talking and laughing. This is when the Big Questions come from them, and I try my best to help them see their lives as beautiful, even though explaining what it means to be human hurts a lot of the time. These bedtime meetings are fleeting, not at all like a movie or a greeting card. The conversations come in flashes with constant interruptions and then a deep breath, in which I pray some kind of random lesson here and there will stick. They giggle and look across at each other, roll their eyes sometimes. One bites at his nails and the other bounces, even while lying down. His arms go stick straight and he jumps up with his butt and his legs flop. He makes a face, and they fall into laughter like it’s the best joke ever, and it is.


This is the 177th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {New here? Please see the details.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page. (Then link back to this post in your Just Write post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.) (Any links not following those two guidelines will be deleted.)

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