This is what was on my kitchen counter this evening.
It is just sitting in between my flour and sugar jars. Parked, I guess. Maybe the fire-rescue officer from inside the car is inspecting the pantry for moths (if you haven't read Eric's post about the Battle of the Moths...well...don't).
Our place has been fully infiltrated by toys. I think the little car on the kitchen counter is a symbol of our complete surrender. It isn't pantry moths we are battling, it's inanimate objects.
I remember buying my very first package of diapers. It was the first baby item I ever purchased by myself and it was surreal. I could not believe that there was going to be a BABY living in the same place I lived. The novelty of small things was intoxicating. Then...little clothes, small toys, stuffed animals.
Since then, there has been a slow creep of stuff. Three kids, three sets of favourite things. Three overactive imaginations playing with toys in every nook and cranny of the house. The crane in the bathtub, or the bear wearing my shoes at the front door. Every single place I turn, there's another toy in another odd place. Sometimes I laugh. Sometime I shake my head and try to imagine what game was being played. Sometimes I silently curse the mess and bend down for the thousandth time in the day to tidy. Sometimes I holler at the kids and drag them in to bear witness to the chaos and force them to put it all away.
Sometimes my shoulder slump and so do my spirits.
But then, sometimes, I think about the day when the toys will all be gone and so will the little bodies that animate them. Those little people will grow. The brains that produce those funny, nonsensical games will be replaced by more rigid minds that file papers in an office or create lesson plans for a classroom (probably not Finny...she might be running an ashram in India or something).
Things change. They just do. Lukey and I were walking out of his swimming lessons today and he told me that he would hold my hand forever. I said, "Promise?", but I realized as the question came out of my mouth that it couldn't be so.
As much as the IDEA of that is appealing, the reality would be weird. I don't actually want to hold hands with my 38 year old son. But I always want to hold hands with this little boy who was holding my hand TODAY. So...that won't work out.
Also heartbreaking was the certainty in his voice. He was so sure that he would want that forever. Why wouldn't he, he must think? How much could things change, he must wonder? So much. So crazily much.
One day walking across a parking lot holding Lukey's hand will be a physical possibility, but impossible nonetheless. There is a last time for all those things. The last time, ever.
Alright, I know what you are thinking. A bit melodramatic. The kid is three.
I know. I know, I know. But geez.
It makes the car on the counter a tiny bit sweet. Still super annoying, but a little lovely too.