Yesterday our new baby, Eva Tennessee, became a week old. And I am a weak old. After a good long night of nursing and about a billion poopy diapers, she and I rolled out of bed at 8:30 to an eerily dark and quiet house. The curtains were all drawn and there was evidence of a good breakfast littering the kitchen and toys out all over the house. But there were none of the mess makers.
My husband had taken our eldest to school, and the littles to their once a week hangout sesh at our church, while he worked in town for the day. One would think a mother of four would cherish the peace and quiet and rue the mess left behind.
Not. Even. Close.
I missed those goobers. I missed my three year old boy who is ALL boy. I mean, he refers to his armpits as “farts”. I missed his billions of unanswerable questions and his sneaky way of numbing my mind with questions so when #87 rolls around of, “and can I have M&M’s as my single food source of the day?” and I say, “Mmhmm, that sounds great,” and then I have to explain why that can never be and I see what he is doing. I missed how he poops, completely naked, with the door open while singing. And that he shouts everything regardless of proximity to whoever he is conversing with. He isn’t just a stink. He also gives the best snuggles, especially after a nap, when he is all dewy eyed, rosy cheeked, and wants to be held. He can come up with the most hilarious things to say and he loves to make someone giggle. And at his ornery core is a very tender heart.
I missed his big brother who can be the biggest, loudest spaz (<–sorry, spellcheck, that you do not recognize this word, it doesn’t make it less real to me.). This kid taught his brother about armpit farts and is physically incapable of putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket, hanging a towel back up, or of wearing a shirt, and 90% of the dirt, dog poop, and bugs brought into our home come from this guy. Still, you are blessed if you have ever known a heart as sweet as his. This boy adores his brother and sisters. His first order of business since Eva came home is to hug me and check on her. He gives into the whims of the littles, plays sweetly, builds the coziest places for them to snuggle, tries to think of every detail, and is patient through their tantrums. He loves to look out for people and is ever the defender of the weak.
I missed our very first girl, all of her fiery, teething, 22 month old spunk. She can throw a tantrum like I have never seen. Throws her full body to the floor, complete with kicking and screaming, while we all stand there, in shock and awe. The transformation from dimpled giggler to thrashing screamer is as quick and complete as Bruce Banner becoming the Hulk. She is full of whimsy, meaning she gets every lego, every kitchen accessory, every doll, every ball, and every thing out for her capricious captivation. She does not put things back. Baby girl don’t play like that. She is also the first one to hear Eva cry and the quickest to respond. She wants to “hug da bebe” every available moment. She is the apple of her daddy’s eye and the feeling is mutual. She is the best at Hide ‘n’ Seek, both as hider and seeker. She can wrestle just as well as she can cuddle. And her big brown eyes always win. Always.
And yesterday there was none of that. As I looked around at all the mess of breakfast and all the toys and dirty clothes and shoes strewn about, I missed the people who had created the chaos. I missed that I didn’t hear all the hollering that had gone into getting them out the door and ready to face their days. I ached that I had no idea what they were wearing or how their daddy managed to fit them all in the backseat of his truck. I wondered if they had all eaten enough because it would be hours till lunch. I missed kissing their silly faces while surreptitiously smelling their breath to see if they had brushed their teeth before they interacted with other humans. I missed my precious husband who has been my rock through the transition of adding a new baby to our family. I missed his strong arms hugging strength into my bones, kissing his scruffy face goodbye, and seeing his eyes dance with love for me as mine responded in kind and the wash of warmth that comes from those moments.
Eva Tennessee and I had a lovely day snuggling and cleaning, but I think she would agree it was a bit too quiet. She smiled when her family came home and everyone wanted to hold her.
It turns out, I really don’t want a day of silence. I find solace in the chaos of our kiddos, purpose in sniffing out their mischief. My cup runneth over; sometimes because it is being spilled, but always because I am blessed.