Editor’s Note: Let’s have another look at this classic summertime post from 2017. It’s a good one!
I’m 45-years-old, sitting in a locked bedroom, with one towel wrapped around my body and another wrapped around my hair. I’m wearing this because I’m hiding from my extroverted child.
Over the past twenty years, I have learned only one thing about raising children, and that’s this: kids don’t care if you are sitting on the toilet. They could walk through a room of 2,500 pooping mothers and not even flinch. But if they burst through your bedroom door (despite the fact that it’s locked) and catch you wearing a towel, they will say, “Oh, sorry.” Then they give you thirty bonus seconds before they start asking you more questions.
That’s how long I have to write this post. Thirty seconds.
Every thirty seconds since the middle of May, my extroverted child has asked me to pay attention to something.
“Hey, Mom, Look how I ran this clay guy through with a plastic spear. He has now perished.”
“Hey, Mom, I just made the Death Star out of phlegm.”
“Hey, Mom, do you have 25 toilet paper tubes, some baking soda, some citric acid, and some uranium?”
“Hey, Mom, what’s our credit card number?”
“Hey, Mom, my stuffed tigers need to get married.”
“Hey, Mom, do you think you need a snuggle? Because I think you need one.”
I love him so much, just thinking about how sweet he is makes me smile a big goofy smile. Today he said he liked cats better than dogs because cats are “serene.”
That was after he proposed to me with regency flourish, using a British accent while bowing and handing me Japanese erasers shaped like roses, chocolate… and yeah…sushi.
He’s the most perfect age he will ever be until he turns eleven, and I never want him to get a day older than he is now. He’s the age of tying an entire room together with a ball of string, the age of making shadow puppets on the ceiling with me for an hour, the age of setting traps for imaginary animals, the age of kneeling down to look at the legs of a gold beetle.
I don’t want to do anything in the world but be with him and see the planet anew through his eyes.
Well, except sit here for a few minutes. By myself. In the quiet. In these two towels.
Extroverted children don’t read books alone. They read books like dads watching the Final Four. “Hey! Mom!” (laughter) “Oh my gosh! Mom! Come read these past four pages with me.”
Their psychology works like a lap dog that has been bred for thousands of years to need to touch you. Every. Single. Minute.
And I love it.
I love the joy, the enthusiasm, the adventure. I love every single minute of launching rockets, and reading Tolkien, and taking walks, and making food, and timing the fidget spinner, and answering every question that comes to him every thirty seconds, all day, every day from May to August.
I’ve been here before. I know this won’t last. I know there will be a driver’s license and then long, tense nights waiting for headlights in the driveway.
I want to hit pause so that he doesn’t ever leave home like the big ones are doing. In fact, how long have I been alone now? Thirty seconds? Two minutes? Ten minutes?
It’s too quiet. I don’t like it.
Where are my clothes? Found them. Sweatpants. Check. T-shirt. Check.” (The uniform.)
“Hey! Hey! Where are you kid? Why are you in your room all alone? Get in here, you little extrovert. We’ve got a whole world full of important stuff to do before you finish growing up.”