The charm of a quiet house has worn off. Now it's actually eerie, lonely, and just a little bit sad. Two of my four children are almost 300 miles away, spending the week at "Gramma camp". Thankfully the oldest and youngest child are still home with me, and oddly enough, just now when Jack informed me of his bathroom needs, I wasn't annoyed. I should have been though. Because he prides himself in the details.
I used to like traditions, but Gramma camp is becoming one tradition I'm not too sure about. This is the second summer in a row that the kids spend about 5 days in Pagosa Springs, all without their mother to guide, protect, and remind them to change their underwear. Now that Jack is 14, he decided he'd rather stay home. Instead of getting back to nature in the most beautiful part of Colorado, he's spending his 5 days playing with legos in a dark bedroom, or playing video games in a dark living room. This boy might have rickets by the time he's 15 from a lack of Vitamin D if he's not careful. My toddler also didn't stay at Gramma's this time around, due to the fact that she's only lived with us 4 months and might be a bit traumatized by another new environment. One that occassionally has bats, mind you.
So Faith and Will are away from our normal everyday boring lives. They have "face-timed" me several times to let me know they haven't gotten rabies and they still have all 20 fingers and toes. Another great thing about technology is Will has been able to show me how many horny toads or "lizards" he has caught. You may remember last year when Will caught a horny toad and brought it home to Denver. We got on line, like any good parents would do, and tried to find out how to take care of one of those suckers. We quickly discovered that horny toads are endangered species, (also illegal to keep as pets ) and can only survive in captivity if you own a fire ant farm, where one toad needs to eat up to a million ants in a day. Sadly, Will released his toad into the wild, and still gets a little mopey when we drive by the open space where Mace now resides. I feel like Will has been in denial of last summers tragic turn of events, now that he has four more in his possession at Gramma Camp. If those little toads make it all the way to Denver, we are going to have to have a serious appointment with a therapist. (Two actually. One for Will. One for me)
I have two more days to relish this time with Jack and Little Sass. One thing I have noticed about a 14 year old and a 2 year old are their similarties. They both want to eat all the time. They both tell me when they have to use the bathroom. They both have smelly feet. Neither of them seem to care if I'm on the phone, and will talk to me as if their needs must be met immediately or else they will die.
I would be completely lost without these two children home with me. Having a 14 year old reminds me it's good to let go and allow my other kids the space to learn what life is about apart from Billy and I. Having a 2 year old reminds me that life moves so fast and my other three kids are growing up so fast that every single second with my children counts. For me, time with them is more valuable than gold.
The other day Jack and Z were sitting on the sidewalk, just watching the world go by. He was talking to her about life, and she just sat and listened to her new big brother without a care in the world. I sat in the grass behind them, watching this miracle unfold. Both of them tender and sweet--one who is willing to love sacrificially, and one who is willing to be loved despite the hurts that she has experienced in her tender little life. I let this moment fill my soul with gratitude. I soaked in the truth that Love is the only way to true healing in life for all of us, no matter what kind of hurts we carry on our journey. The moment to sit and watch Love take place was so precious and warm. And over really fast. Right about the time I was wiping my tears away, certain that life could never be sweeter than that fleeting moment in time, both of them stood up and said, "nacks, Mom?" This was my cue to serve them again. And so I did. And I will. For as long as they call me Mom.