Like everyone, my life has many facets. All significant, somewhat interesting, but none more all consuming than parenting. My children just happen to be of the four legged variety. I know what some of you may be thinking. Yes, I will be so bold and say that I am a parent through and through.
The dawn of 2012 brought with it my desire for a healthier life, and my pledge to do something about it. In putting Me on my ever growing to-do list, I promised to every day carve out alone time. But there is the household, work and life. And then there are my babies: the youngest a rambunctious 65 pound 1-year-old who doesn’t know her own strength, and the “adult” of the two a bad ass 20 pound rat terrier who always has a point to make. Alone time for Mommy is easier said than done.
My solitude of choice is an extra long hot bath complete with salts, oils, basically the whole shebang. All I ask for is one half hour. But my selfishness is not without consequence. When my kids aren’t pleased, they park outside the door. Gracie will ram it with her head. Jack will give it a good scratch. Then the chorus of cries and whines begins.
But I am not alone in this. There is a Daddy in this picture. And he does on occasion run interference so I can have my half hour of heaven. This is what my life has come to. When I can get excited about thirty minutes to myself.
Tonight, I’ve secured my tub time, and the kids for once are not at war with the bathroom door. The essence of tangerine, coconut and lavender swirls around me, and my mind feels completely free. And then an all too familiar sound invades the silence.
“Gracie Pants! You Daddy’s girl?!?! Silly #1!”
“Ooooh, Jack Dog!!! Daddy’s boy! Silly #2!”
Silly #1 and #2. Like Thing #1 and Thing #2. Just crazier.
This baby talk is now the norm in our house. And make no mistake, such eloquence is not strictly reserved for the kids. Just recently it dawned on me that I could not remember the last time I heard my husband say my name.
“Daddy, can you take out the dinner plates please?”
“Can you get the salad stuff out of the fridge, Mommy?”
“Can you take the sheets out of the dryer, Daddy?”
“I’m going to take a shower, Mommy.”
“Jack, tell Mommy to get your blankie for you.”
“Grace, tell Daddy to get your ball out from under the couch.”
This is it. We talk like idiots. With absolutely no question or hesitation.
But on this night, I get to listen to this magic, this love, between father and children, my husband speaking to our kids as though they understand. Well, they do. Though I don’t think they could ever fathom how our family is one million times better with them in it. Our lives, our marriage, our language of love, all of it revolves around them. That is exactly how I want it to be.
The exchange continues, with three barks in reply. One from our son, two from our daughter. I picture them looking up at him, heads tilted adorably to one side and eyes big with wonder. Hanging onto his every word. And at that moment, my eyes close, shoulders collapse, the stress melts away, and I can’t believe how happy I am. There is nothing left to do but smile.