It’s all about the children.
Okay, come on, contradict me, beat me up, people, you have the right to your opinion (or feelings – more to the point).
So do I.
It is all about the children. Not necessarily the small and cuddly little dumplings you can’t stop squeezing and adoring. The older ones – with their moods, their all-important friends, the coming-home-late-with-the-car(!), the sleeping-till-2pm-what’s-the-big-deal, wearing-cropped tops-in-January-just because. Those too. Your loves, the essence of your existence, possibly the reason why you breathe (and wish to).
Work, busy-busy, run around, feel accomplished, feel exhausted, feel that you earned your damn pay. But it ends there.
The babies outgrow the cradle, your cocoon. Eagerly.
The sound of silence is terrifying. A table set for…? Maybe not at all, because does it matter? Sorry, but a husband (or wife, I suppose) alone just doesn’t cut it. Love, lovers, passion, romance, they have their (alas, brief) glory days, then …they vanish. Sure, sure, it was all exciting and emotional and oh my god, all I need is love. But the fairytale is short-lived, and you just end up with…what?
The breaking of the Christmas ornaments (it’s all right, amore, don’t worry, let me disinfect your little finger…), the 5am rude awakenings on Christmas day, because ‘he’ came, mommy…! The frigging Barbie Airplane that took hours to assemble and wrap.
That was Christmas. The (peeled) carrots on a seasonal plate for the reindeers. The homemade cookies for Santa of course. Eaten quickly after midnight, if they were particularly remarkable shapes, or replaced in the tin if more generic ones
Dinner? Set the table, place the daily vitamins by the glasses, call ‘time for dinner, kids, let’s go!” .
I don’t care that you spilled tomato sauce on your skirt, I’ll put stain remover on it, even though I said, damn, pay more attention…
I didn’t mind sleeping on the floor by your bed, my loves, really. The softness of your hand in mine made it all worthwhile…Singing ‘Sleep, little baby, don’t say a word, Mama is going to buy you a mocking bird’, like a hundred times over, till I mouthed it in my own dreams, was soothing to me as much (or more) than to you.
Sure, I’ll help you with your math (oy!) homework, just sit at the kitchen table while I cook.
And I love to hear “Arthur” in the background. Especially fond of Baby Kate.
The hours, the minutes, are slow and run together now. It’s dinner time and I’m at the computer writing this. What the hell? Can I pour cranberry juice for you instead, my loves? Please tell me about Colonial Day at school today, did the outfit we put together work out ok? Don’t worry about the project (bloody hell), I got it under control, already picked up the cardboard.
Sing about forever love, dear dear Ed Sheeran, Taylor, Biagio, Sam, Claudio, but it’s all about the kids. The babies, be they one-year-old or twenty.
I can watch my DVR’d Top Chef at 5 pm if I want. Lying on the couch with a glass of white wine.
But I don’t want to.
The sound of the TV is too clear, damn it. Can I please hear your chatter in the background?
The house is freezing cold, and the blanket just wraps me in melancholy.
The living room is opaque with loneliness and the dubious haze of memories. Your rooms are tender, fragile clouds of the past, and, really really, I don’t care about the pajamas on the floor.
It’s all about the children, Christmas.