Our winter has been so wimpy. The sun is flexing its muscles. The crust of snow is disappearing. Last week, I swear I heard a song bird.
Problem is, it's only February 9. Even if an early spring is inevitable this year, it's not happening next week. Even though it feels tantalizing close, I still have to wait.
A few weeks ago, I looked around at the chaos in my house -- Kieran balanced precariously on a chair, Teyla playing dolls with her hair askew, Natalie drawing next to the dirty dishes, Connor playing Legos and following me around like a puppy, asking, "Mom, you know what? Mom, you know what?" - and my heart almost exploded. Simultaneously, I thought, "I AM SO BLESSED! I LOVE MY LIFE!" and "OH MY WORD, WILL I EVER HAVE A MOMENT TO MYSELF AGAIN? I AM LOSING MY EVER LOVIN' MIND!"
I know we all feel this crazy tension. It's inherent to parenting in the 21st century. But lately, for me, it feels like it's been tightened to the breaking point. I have never been so in love with my family, never so thankful, never so aware of how much I love each and every stage my kids are in. At the same time, I have never wanted a break more, I have never felt so itchy at their constant desire to be with me. A few weeks ago, when I was feeling especially stretched, I pushed Kieran and Teyla out of my bedroom and shut the door in their crying faces and tried-not-to-scream, "Mommy needs a few minutes ALONE!"
I know, in just a few years, they will all be in school, and I will have more time than I'll know what to do with. (And if you know that's not true, don't tell me. Let me have my dream.) It will change even this year. Teyla will start preschool in the fall, which means I'll be down to one child three mornings a week.
But as desperate as I am for time to stand still, I am straining for a change of seasons. I don't need spring in all its glory, yet. I just need a cracked window, a bud on the tree, a whiff of earth.
My desperation is pushing me to look for babysitters who can watch Kieran and Teyla for a few hours each week, so I can have consistent time to myself. And I think it's working. Today, I have a sweet teenage girl here (which is why you are reading this) and thanks to the magic of Facebook, I've found a few girls at a neighboring college who are open to working up a schedule with me.
The idea of having an afternoon each week when I'm not on duty, when I can do whatever I want without worrying about cutting up apples/negotiating a fight/pulling Kieran off the counter? I'm so giddy, I can hardly sit still.
Do you smell that? I think spring is on its way.