As many of you know, my triplets are getting ready to leave the nest in just a few weeks to attend the University of Missouri-Columbia, my husband's and my alma mater. So yesterday I had a little wig-out that surprised me. Actually, it wasn't a little wig-out. It was a full-scale, over-the-top, temporary lapse of sanity (those of you who know me well can argue the temporariness). My son was giving me some of the standard teenage attitude and I just exploded on him. Now I keep hearing this song:
When analyzing my actions later, I realized it was a sort of how-dare-you-give-me-attitude-when-I-love-you-so-much-and-I'm-going-to-miss-you-so-much melt down. (See song above.) It was like, "You're already hurting my heart by being such a sweet blessing in my life, how could you double the pain by being such a complete pain in my rear?"
We were in the act of taking apart their bookcase headboards. The pieces of their beds sit in the garage at this moment, waiting for Recycling for Families to come and pick them up, to become a part of a new family's story. When we took them apart I found a lot of interesting things. That one small screwdriver that was the best because it fit perfectly so many times? You know, the one that's been missing for years? Yep, under the bed. Apparently it is what made the holes in the wall. I found a small Quidditch statue of a snitch (Harry Potter reference) and a comb stuck to the footboard with what I thought was gum. When trying to remove it I realized the tri-colored blob could only be one thing--candy corn! Of course I also discovered lots of candy wrappers, feathers from the feather pillow that used to be mine as a child (Mitch bogarted it several years ago), tacks, and coins of various denomination. The initials of someone's seventh grade sweetheart were carved into the wood. In another area they scratched their own name, and also wrote it in ink. (They clearly wanted everyone to know this was THEIR bed!) Inside the handle of a drawer someone had written "hello!" no doubt imagining it being found by someone at a later date and giggling at the thought.
As I polished the beds and got them ready for their new home I began to think of what they have been a part of. Whispered conversations on Christmas Eve. Moments when the kids laughed until they cried. Homework. That one fight where one of the boys got the other one down and SPIT into his face, saying, "And this is so you won't forget." (What had he been watching? Scarface?) They had witnessed tears after break-ups, been covered in drool, bounced on, and spilled on. The cat had found a friendly sunspot there. They had been little boys when we got those beds. I'd watched them come eye-level with me, and then craned my neck to look up at them.
I had to leave my bed project and take Mitch to work, but my thoughts continued to wander. They'd probably slept in those beds in footie pajamas. Worked out next to them. Ignored my calls to come down to dinner while sitting on them. Hid there when they knew chores were being handed out. Played their favorite music as they sat on them, drumming their fingers on their pant leg... And that's when I tuned into the music playing on the radio, and it was playing this song:
Although I was alone in my car, I said aloud, "Really?"
What a beautiful song! And how on point!
God gives us these little gifts, and at first all they are is a mouth demanding to be fed or changed. And still, everything about them is miraculous. Their little eyelashes, the way they breath, hiccup, reach, tiny fists flailing. And when they give that first smile, your heart is so full it hurts and you understand, really understand what it is to be selfless, because you'd do anything to make that other being happy. You love them for 18 years, through Band-aids and Kool-Aid, broken toys and broken hearts, high fevers and high school. Through Hot Wheels and "hot dates," dance classes and class dances, ABCs and A.C.T.s.
You go from that moment when you leave the hospital with them and think, "They're just letting me take this baby?" to the day you drop them off at college and think, "They're just letting me leave my baby?
But, through all these changes, there is one thing that never changes--your love for them. So kids, keep me in the pocket of your ripped jeans as you head off to Mizzou. You will always be right here with me!
*Sigh.* It's going to be a long August.