Saturday, January 21, 2012
They love to team up against the powers of Mama. When I slid open the door to tell them they had five more minutes before it was time for stories, Gabriel looked at me with wild eyes and announced "We're destroying your house!" Two flushed faces looked at me with held breath and crazed, fixed smiles. Then the snowballs began to fly again.
I quickly shut the glass door. Ha ha ha ha ha.
It actually made me smile a little. What the heck, I'll be the bad guy. Their naughty act is pretty cute (sometimes sibling solidarity is so pleasurable to witness, I'm willing to pretend I didn't notice minor rule-breaking). Plus, life is hard, and when you're a kid slowly but surely confronting this, someone's got to take the rap. I'm often the first person to pass through their line of vision when something goes wrong. I mean, moms disproportionately get blamed for everything that goes wrong, from forgotten homework to bad weather to existential loneliness. (My poor mother! I'm sorry!) Maybe my attitude is too defeatist, but I don't expect it to be any different for me.
I had to start counting to get Gabriel inside for his nap. When he'd finally settled on the top bunk, I asked if he was mad about something. I am mad! he said. And then, in his pouting-est, maddest voice ever, with arms outstretched for a hug: I love you Mama.
Oh my. It's hard to love each other. And thankfully, it's hard to stay mad. Afterwards I sat down to write this post, and Frances sidled up to me and asked to read some of my blog. I went way back in the archives, and we ended up watching this video six times in a row, laughing and clutching each other every time Gabriel said "a lolly!". Such a dear 18 month old! We talked about how we wanted to hug and squeeze him - the person he was then. How we missed that big baby.
What powerful ties we feel to one another. How do I hold tight to them, and how do I let them go?