Somehow all three kids ended up in our bed last night and two of them peed on me.
With heavy eyes and slow movements, I went through the motions. I put the sheets in the washer. I changed my own clothes. I ran a bath for the little ones. I went about my morning routine. I got my oldest to school on time. Just barely. But we did it. When I made it back home and tried to unlock my front door with my automatic car key pod, I just stood there and laughed.
I had to laugh because I’m not playing house. This is real. My life is really happening. Every choice I make has a consequence. Every moment has the potential to become a memory. Nothing is wasted. It’s all magical. Even the boring stuff. Even the stressful.
Yesterday I was ten. I went to my dad’s every other weekend. I used sticky tack to cover my bedroom wall with photos of my friends. I had my own bathroom and I lit lavender candles and I pretended I was grown. I used face cream that someone gave to me. I remember it came in a green glass jar. I poured pickle juice in champagne glasses and borrowed my mom’s makeup. And I tried on womanhood. It fit in all the most awkward ways.
But when I would put my pretend womanhood on a shelf and go back to being a kid with bad dreams, my mom always left her door open just a crack so that I could feel safe again. I spent many a night on a soft palette, listening to the whirring of her fan and dreaming about my future.
I used to think I grew up too fast. But now I think I grew up just right. And I just keep on growing. I had enough freedom to make some mistakes but not so much freedom that I didn’t have a place to land.
I hope when my girls are older they can say the same thing. That they grew up just right and never stopped.
I hope I am their safe landing place.
But also the one who encourages them to fly.
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