Aidan and Chris are downstairs playing Portal 2 with the little sis keeping company. The last two days have been spent in the glorious expanse of the mountains, and for right now, all is as it should be in my house.
The last two weeks with Chris gone have been stretching for me. I got to play mommy, and daddy, soccer coach, fix it man, and everything else. Some nights things got left behind, like grocery shopping and a regular dinner. There may have been one night where I handed Aidan a jar of peanut butter and crackers, while Chloe munched on panda puffs. (The incredulous look on his face was hilarious because that is definitely Not Normal around here) There were several nights where I sat up with my new middle schooler and tried to walk him through those first few days; and feeling so inadequate. I could only absorb his emotions and give him a safe place to express his sudden insecurities and frustrations. (while wishing we could have solved this before bedtime) But I couldn't fix anything. Then I realized all of a sudden that was okay, and I wasn't supposed to. Because if I took away all of the mountains my kids have to climb, they will never learn to conquer life. And that they can conquer life.
It's not easy to watch them sometimes scramble and slip, but I know that when they make it to the top and look down at what they have accomplished, they will be so proud, and more brave when they encounter their next mountain.
It would be negligent of me to give them wings, and never allow them to use them. But it's tough on the mommy, even knowing that love allows hard things.
When they are little, you can swoop in and fix life with a snuggle and a kiss, but when they're older, sometimes you just gotta sit there on the edge of the bed and feel helpless, until suddenly, they find their feet again. Maybe I'm learning something though too.
And when they stand on top of their mountain, they will feel like they did it on their own, but I will have the gray hairs and sleepless nights that says nobody climbs a mountain best, alone.