The days are coming when my children no longer wish to spend any time with me. I know this. And because of that, I try to make the most of the moments that we have together.
A few minutes ago, Doodlebug was sitting next to me. He swiped my iPad and was taking (and editing) pictures of himself. I won't give him the password, so he couldn't do anything else, but he was making the most of his time and abilities to do what he could with what he had. One day earlier this week he tried to curl up on my lap - all 5'4" and 108 lbs. of him. I thought about kicking him off because OMG NUMB LEGS but then realized that he's 11 and soon will realize that cuddling up on mom's lap is either A) impossible or B) gross, so I held him and rocked him and remembered back to the time when he fit in the crook of my arm and loved the fact that even being this much bigger, he still likes my lap.
I strongly suspect that he and Boo will hit puberty together. This makes my moments with her precious, too. She's spent a lot of time this week fighting everything I say with all her might. A couple days ago, she was fighting me so often and so hard that when I graded her math paper and wrote 95% on it, she decided my '5' looked more like an 'S' and felt the need to draw a line through my five and write a big, giant, blocked 5 underneath, just so I would know what it should look like. Juvenile? Yes… but then, she is one. So I kept my adult mouth shut. Right before lunch that day, she burst into tears. She had no idea why she'd been fighting me so much all morning, and quite frankly, the tension that she'd caused between herself and me had stressed her out so much that it had culminated in the tears that were now streaming down her cheeks. She needed to cuddle.
The kids get up in the morning and fight. They're upstairs now, fighting because Doodlebug barged into the bathroom in order to scare his sister. The fighting seems constant. Annoying. Useless. But a small part of me relishes it because the day is coming when they probably won't even speak to one another because they'll both be too busy texting friends or rushing from school work to jobs to extracurriculars to social engagements. The noise is obnoxious, but silence isn't always golden, either.
Their Christmas lists get smaller each year. The requests change a little, but mostly they get more expensive. This year the boy is gunning for an iPad (not a chance this side of Hades - he can't even be responsible with a Kindle Fire, so there's no way he's getting anything else), and the girl wants a sewing machine (we'll see). I've been handing them any Christmas catalogs that come in, letting them circle the things they want. I've ordered little things for them. I could have passed on these ideas to others, but I'm selfish - I want to get them the things they want and let others get them the gift cards that will become a standby soon enough.
Sometimes when I tuck the kids into bed, they want to hug… and hug… hug. And I do that, too, because right now, they want to hold on to me. They want to hold on. To me. And I want to hold on, too. These years and weeks and days and hours are fleeting. I have to make the most of it.