“Do you want us to sit on your lap now?”
This morning Ethan asked me this when he and Kyle had finished their Honey Nut Cheerios and I went all soft and teary-eyed, because I’d forgotten that was our after-breakfast routine for years. One boy on each knee for a hug and a cuddle before we’d get started on the rest of our day. At six-foot-plus each, if they’d tried it today, we would have broken the chair, and we already have one kitchen chair that’s broken, but that’s not why it made me cry.
These days my sons get themselves ready in the morning. While school hasn’t started for them yet, (Public Service Announcement: CPS start September 6th!) they’ve had cross-country practice at 8 a.m. every day for the last couple of weeks. They wake up with their alarms, feed themselves breakfast and walk down to the bus stop to get themselves to school. I am dangerously close to becoming irrelevant. This morning I joined them at the table for the first time in a while and the reminder of how they both used to fit on my lap got me all verklempt. In fact, this ritual was so important to us, we had to know right away if we’d be able to incorporate Tanya into it. She’s pretty tiny, so it was kind of a slam-dunk, but a relief nonetheless when we were successful. I believe my words when we took this picture were, “I told you this would work,” and it did, literally following symbolically.
- She fits!
This morning I know Ethan felt bad he’d made me cry. I told him it was just me being ridiculous, but everyone tells me how fast high school goes and then they’re out the door. I told him we should all just be grateful I was shedding happy tears because my children were turning into such fine young people and that I wasn’t sniffing about how I have to go bail any one of them out of jail again. And I should knock on wood here, because I know the fat lady isn’t singing yet.
As I watched the two of them walk down the sidewalk away from me, I really did start crying. And even though it was for all the right reasons, it doesn’t make it any easier to take. One more broken kitchen chair seems a small price to pay, to make time stop moving so quickly forward, for a trip down memory lane.
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