Yesterday afternoon Atticus went with Uncle Steve, who is really our next door neighbor, to play soccer at the clubhouse. He was gone from 4:30 to 6:15. While he was gone I fed the other kids dinner and got them ready for bed. It was much too easy. When Atticus walked in the door I was in the back room reading to the others. He came back to see what we were up to, I told him his food was in the microwave. Can you believe it? I told him his food was in the microwave! Atticus is seven years old now. He can heat up his own food. He can eat dinner on his own. He can spoon out a portion of Arroz con Leche all by himself. He can even bring his bowl to the bedroom and be with us while I gave my specially prepared Spanish lesson to everyone. Which he did. He did join us voluntarily. I thought it was so sweet that he wanted to be with us even though he'd been with cool Uncle Steve that evening.
What will life be like in five years? I'm almost positive that Atticus will walk in the door and eat his own dinner just fine, but I'm sure he won't join us little guys voluntarily. There will be other things to do. Funner, more interesting things. In ten years, he'll walk in the door, grab his food, go to his room and slam the door and I won't see him until he walks out the door the next morning. Maybe. In fifteen years he'll be gone, out of the house and doing his own thing. Hopefully.
I'll have the other youngins. But they'll go through the same process of growing up and moving on. I'm sure I will cry. I won't have any cute little people that want to be near me. I won't hear the pitter patter of bare feet walking up to the side of my bed and climbing in next to me. I won't hear the chatter of their really loud voices down the hallway as they talk about who's airplane has better capabilities. I won't have chocolaty fingerprints to clean of the light switches anymore.
I want their lives to go on. It would be more devastating to me if they hung around me too long. I would blame myself. What can I do to prepare myself for that day when there is silence all around me and no more chaos to put in order? The simple answer to that is, I'll do all those crafts and hobbies that I wasn't able to do while the kids were around. But that isn't fulfilling when I really think about it. It's only a time filler. Something that I do to have a contrast against the crazy disasters that surround me constantly. Crafts and creating things bring me pleasure right now because I can control them.
So, I'm planning my distant future right now. I know the only way to feel fulfilled is to be around other people. I really like people. I really like to teach. Especially children. So I guess I'll go in that direction. Slowly. Meanwhile, I'll chase my little tumbleweeds around and giggle.