The other day, I was getting ready to go....somewhere...and Brad happened to be home and able to distract the kids while I made preparations. I snuck into the bathroom, alone, to brush my teeth and put in my contacts, and have a little vacay because, as my fellow mamas know, going to the bathroom, alone, for any reason, is against the commandments of motherhood.
Predictably, a nanosecond later Dominic came barreling in with his bouncy ball. He was followed by G, who immediately began peppering me with questions..."Where are we going? Is Daddy coming with us? Is Aunt Monica coming tomorrow? Who gave Dommie that ball? When can I have a car?" The happy duo was trailed by Brad, who came in and just kinda stood there. Our bathroom is very tiny. Picture four people and one bouncy ball in a space that's just barely larger than those creepy airplane lavatories. There was lots of jostling around as I tried to finish my toileting, a sudden potty trip, and a search for the aforementioned bouncy ball.
I moved to the kitchen, to finish snack prep, and they followed me. I went to the basement to get clean diapers from the dryer, and they followed me. I went back upstairs and into our walk-in closet to get dressed, and they followed me. I chose my wardrobe amidst squawks for "Mawk!!! Mawk!!!" and left the bedroom. I moved to the living room to put on my shoes.....and they all followed me.
Later that day, exhausted from wherever it was we went (I really can't remember. I think we had fun. We all lived, I know that much), I decided to take the kids into G's room and close the door. I dumped a bunch of toys out and encouraged them to "Play, play!" and crawled blissfully onto Dominic's IKEA bed. As my head hit the pillow and my eyes closed I heard the sounds of two small people scrambling up onto the bed. Dominic flopped down next to me demanding, "MAWK PEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE" every 2 minutes, while G parked herself next to my head. She dropped a stack of books on top of my hip and announced, "I am just going to read these books right here." Yah. Of course you are. There's this whole big room, and you have to sit practically on top of me. To say that my sigh was audible is an understatement.
As I lay there, contemplating my state in life, it occurred to me that some days I do a lot of escaping. I'm trying to escape the laundry (impossible) and escape the kids (also impossible, and, illegal in most states) and escape cleaning the kitchen (actually not impossible. just gross.) There are times when my life as a stay-at-home-mama is, let's be honest....less than glamorous. Not politically relevant. Economically questionable. Dangerously repetitive. Lacking in intellectual stimulation. But is it?
Politically, I'm managing a lot of relationships. I'm charged with guiding these small minds to be critical thinkers, to be souls who are strong and compassionate and principled. Economically, I am managing a household, buying our food, seeking out the sales, studiously choosing one product over another for the benefit of my family, a local farm, the watershed, the planet, the coffee bean grower half-way across the world. Repetitive? Perhaps, but the fun stuff is worth repeating. I'll dance like a fool interminably if it allows me to hear the melody of my children's laughter. Intellectually, I might be doing all my reading while I'm nursing a baby to sleep or introducing my preschooler to Frog and Toad, but I've never before read so widely....child psychology, nutrition, discipline, theology, children's literature, anthropology, education, biology, sociology....each day I encounter more questions and have more answers to seek.
And glamor??? It may have been awhile since I had a mani/pedi or at least a shower that lasted longer than five minutes, but I've got a fan club of people who can't get enough of me. In a moment of frustration, I commented to Brad about the propensity for everyone else in the family to constantly follow me around, and he responded, quite simply, "We just wanna be by you." That's glamor, baby.