Friday, 20 September 2013 10:37
New Chapter, Same Book
I measured my boys on the first day of summer vacation, marking off their heights on the doorjamb I’ve used since my oldest was a toddler. I measured them again on the last day of summer vacation and their growth during these last three months, helped along by sun and swimming and rest and playing in the dirt, ranged from a quarter inch (John) to a whole inch (Gabe). When I pulled out the school shoes for my oldest a few days before school started, the others yelled, “Whoa! Look how big his shoes are! They’re like Dad’s shoes!” I’m amazed by how fast they’re growing. At the same time, though, I find I’m still doing the same mom things I’ve always done. I’ve laughed often over the things you find yourself doing as a parent that you never could have foreseen, and I had yet another of those experiences just recently with Taddy (20 months old). I heard him cry out a little while after I’d put him down for his nap one afternoon, which is unusual for him. By the time I raced up the stairs, he was quiet again, and I was torn—I needed to be sure he was okay, but if he was okay it would be such a bummer to cut his nap short, so I went around into my closet, which has a door that opens into Taddy’s room, and lay down flat on the floor so I could look through the half-inch crack under the door. It didn’t escape me, as I was lying flat on the floor in my closet, my face so close to the carpet that I could feel the fibers on my eyeball, what a ridiculous scene it would be for anyone who happened to walk into the closet at that moment. “The things you do as a parent that you never thought you’d do,” crossed my mind, as I scanned the floor of Tad’s room for his feet. Though he’d never climbed out of his crib before, he’d climbed out of the pack n’ play just recently, so I had a sneaking suspicion that he might be trying the same during naptime. It would account for the cry I’d heard, if he’d fallen while climbing out, or got scared at the height. Sure enough, just as I’d decided he must be fine and I was about to get up, I saw a little foot come dangling down just into my line of sight. The dreaded climbing-out-of-the-crib had indeed happened. I was thinking of this, of “the things you do as a parent that you never thought you’d do,” later that same week, when I went shopping for the older boys’ school supplies. The store I went to is the store I always go to for school supplies, forgetting that every year I find that they don’t have everything on our school supply lists, and wondering why I never remember that there is a store that has everything and why don’t I ever just start there? I spent more than an hour looking for all the things on the three boys’ lists, and I got most of them, but some things they just didn’t have (or at least I couldn’t find them). Like 8-count colored pencils (not 12- or 24-count). Paper folders with bottom pockets (not side pockets) and no fasteners in the particular colors requested by the teacher. Spiral-bound index cards. I ended up having to go to three different stores, which I never do for any reason other than the most dire of circumstances, but as a mom needing school supplies? I’ll do it. And so, a new school year, and with it some new things—bigger shoes, more homework, older-kid issues. But at the same time, being a mom seems to never really change—lying on the floor to peer under the door into the baby’s room in hopes of preserving naptime, traipsing all over the city for the elusive 8-count colored pencils, making yet another mark on the growth-chart doorjamb and marveling over how fast the time goes. Happy new school year to you all!