Much earlier today, two in the morning-ish, I took stock of my life. I had Deaglan in the crook of one arm scrunched in close while Naveen snored softly on my other side. For an instant I felt sorry for myself wondering when I’d ever get a full night’s rest again.
My self-pity didn’t last long.
Truth is, from the moment I met them, the inevitability that they’d someday leave has never been far from my thoughts; a thrum and dull ache reminding me to drink this all in. Too easily I fast forward my life, the way old micro fiche machines flip through archived newspaper articles, stopping to read the headlines:
Age 15 Teenagers Hole up in Bedrooms to Escape Always-Wrong Irritating Parents!
Age 19 Big Move to University Town to Taste Sweet Freedom!
Age 25 Too Busy Career-Building to Come Home!
I’ve been gifted (cursed?) with the awareness of how fleeting all this is. I know that as full as my arms are today, they will ache with emptiness again. That even the hardest parts – lack of sleep, picky eating, the tantrums, even these will seem like nothing compared to the hardship of letting them fly.
Of letting them go.
Shaune and I are sometimes foolhardy enough to try and scheme ways to outsmart the system: Last night we were wondering how we’d take the news when someday one or both of our boys announced that they’d be spending Thanksgiving with the families of their wives.
“Hopefully, their wives are estranged from their parents.” Shaune offered.
“Yes!” I agreed. “Maybe Deaglan and Naveen will be married to orphans!”
Old Navy had their costumes half-off this week. Although Deaglan will actually be a ghost this Halloween, he's insisted on sleeping in this every night since we brought it home. And although this is the best shot we could get of Naveen, there are little dragon wings and a dragon tail on his back that make it hard for us to want to take this costume off of him. Even when he's made it clear he's had enough of being our entertainment.