“I love my kids.” This is an overly obvious statement that I hear a lot of moms say, including myself.
Sometimes, it’s said immediately before some sort of “confession” that moms for some reason aren’t supposed to think, let alone say out loud (thus, the confirmation that they love their children). Example: “I love my kids, I really do…but…they are driving me insane!”
I love my 7 year-old. I really do. (Wait for it…) But…I enjoy the quiet when he’s at his Grandma’s house.
That’s right. I said it.
Let me tell you a few things about Keegan, my first-born, my funny guy, my smart guy, my big-hearted guy, my math-loving, Mario-playing, lovable, affectionate, makes-me-laugh-every-day guy. My toothpaste-deficient guy, my non-wiping, non-flushing, non-hand-washing guy, even though there is a frickin’ SIGN in our bathroom detailing these instructions.
Well, I guess I just told you quite a bit about him.
Except this: HE. IS. LOUD.
Seriously. Those of you reading this who know him, you’re probably doing that knowing nod and smile. “Yep. She’s right. He’s loud.” (Is it almost like I can SEE you right now?)
Those of you who have never been around him, who only know him through my facebook posts or this blog…well, let’s just say this is my standard response to Keegan simply asking a question, before I answer it: “sssssssssSSSSSSHHHHHH!’ (You know that thing parents do when you start out with a quiet “sssshhhh,” but since they’re so loud, they can’t hear the frickin’ “sssshhhh,” the “sssshhhh” gets louder as you go, turning it into a gradual, loud, spit-coming-out-of-your-mouth, “sssssssssSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH!” Yeah. That.) He is, of course, oblivious to how loud his regular voice is, thus leading to his response: “What? I’m just asking a question!” (Side note: If I had a nickel for every question that started with “Mom-can-I…” well, I would make at LEAST a dollar a day.)
Keegan is at his Grandma’s house for this WHOLE WEEK. I capitalized WHOLE WEEK for emphasis, in case you didn’t catch that. I would venture to guess that, if you’re a parent, you understand that a WHOLE WEEK with your child at their Grandma’s house is very rare. (You guys, that’s like, SEVEN DAYS.)
Our house is very different without Keegan here. It’s strangely quiet. My husband and I are coming up on 10 years of marriage this week. For the past 5 years, since Keegan has been talking, we have probably had approximately 8.75 uninterrupted conversations with each other. I think we’ve had 12 in the last 24 hours.
Here’s where I’ll pull out the glass-half-full statement for having a 3 1/2 year-old autistic son who is non-verbal: HE DOESN’T INTERRUPT! EVER!
We ran errands earlier today and went out for lunch (and had conversations with each other!), we sat out on the deck and watched Easton play (and we didn’t have to say, “Keegan, leave your brother alone!” even once!), I was able to gather my thoughts into a (hopefully) cohesive blog post in complete peace and quiet while Easton napped and my hubby watched a not-kid-appropriate movie.
Like I mentioned before…this does NOT happen often. He has gone to his Grandma’s for weekends here and there, and for a large portion of a couple separate weeks last summer, but it has actually never been for a WHOLE WEEK. (See what I did there? I capitalized it again. FOR EMPHASIS.)
I did think about leaving the 4 chunks of toothpaste on the bathroom sink…you know, so he’s in my thoughts every time I wash my hands.
Oh, who am I kidding? I LOVE my oldest son…but…those toothpaste chunks are GONE, I won’t say the words, “Get out of your brother’s face!” for the next seven days, my toilets will be flushed for a WHOLE WEEK, and I’ll be able to talk on the phone or have a conversation with my husband without doing that damn finger-snapping thing parents do that NEVER works to get your kid to be quiet for 5 seconds.
Will we miss him? Yes. (We really will. We’re not monsters, people.)
Will our household feel more complete with him here after this WHOLE WEEK is up? Of course.
Could we ever imagine our lives WITHOUT him? Absolutely not.
BUT…you’re damn right I’m going to enjoy a little bit of peace and quiet while I have the chance.
But don’t be surprised if, at some point this week, you see me walking and hear me muttering “sssssssSSSSSSSHHHHHH!” or “Keegan Ty! Flush your poop!” It really is challenging for us moms to break all those habits.