Hide-n-Seek trumps folding laundry

I'd like to say this is one of those rare nights where I am still up at 2:30 a.m. but unfortunately it isn't rare at all. And I get up toddler early every morning thanks to my sunny little Skye. I feel like I walk around in a fog most of the time. I always get to this time of night and wonder what the hell I am doing awake but know it is pointless to go lay down because I'd still be awake anyways.

We are finally settled in and are falling into our crazy fall routine. Lexi has cheer 4 days a week, girl scouts, and I am still home schooling her so we have a ton of fun activities, lessons, and field trips. Skye is a runner, she runs everywhere we go so I spend a lot of time either running with her or chasing after her. I stay busy with the girls and it makes me so happy to be with them. The house looks like the toddler section of toys-r-us with colorful toys always underfoot, clothes sit on the sofa waiting to be folded, and there are tiny hand prints and little blue scribbles on the french doors.......the house just says childhood lives here, laughs, hugs, tickles, and games live here. The cute little pink table and white stools are right in the middle of the living room where the coffee table used to be and my design books have moved to the office to make room for coloring books and board books. Baskets from Bahrain are filled with toys and dolls. The large modern glass vases have been put up high and my spare modern furniture is draped with blankets and makeshift doll beds. Our house has become a family house, a house that welcomes impromptu games of hide-n-seek and peek-a-boo, where apple juice sits right next to the wine in the fridge and yogurt with pears is the meal du jour. The candles in my bathroom have been joined by a barbie with red hair and 3 purple rubber duckies and the artwork in the guest bath has been replaced with a glass front cabinet filled with our ever expanding PEZ collection.

It is the kind of house I always imagined as a kid, where the kids are welcome to share the house, not just be put into a room. And more and more every day I am becoming the mom that I always imagined I would be, the mom who would stop loading the dishwasher to chase a toddler around until we fall down in a heap of giggles and kisses, the mom who could put less important things on the back burner. I have so few memories of my own mom playing with us.........in fact I don't remember her playing with us at all until we were adults and played board games on holidays. And even then my youngest brother was always told he was too young to play with us. Mom kept a clean house, no clean laundry was ever left neglected on our sofa, toys were forbidden in the living room, she pushed us out that heavy back door on Saturday mornings so she could spend her day making the house sparkle and shine.

But I would rather have known her the way my kids know me. To me she was just mom, she cooked, cleaned, made rules, and was friends with Patty, June, and Tama. But I never knew her favorite song or color, I didn't know if she had a favorite flavor of ice cream of if she used funny voices when she read a book. I never heard her laugh at a Saturday morning cartoon or teach us funny songs. She was a good and loving mom but she just didn't seem to enjoy it that much, she just never let us know who she is. She was president of the PTA and taught Sunday school and led Girl Scouts. But in doing all of those things for us she never had any time to spend with us.

I always wanted to make sure that when my kids grew up they had memories of more than a clean house. And I want to make sure that I remember as much of their childhoods as possible, I want to remember their funny jokes and dances, the downy softness of their little cheeks, their sticky little fingers after enjoying an ice pop on a hot day, their creativity and curiosity, and their sweet little voices telling me they love me.

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