Years ago, when my babies were still babies and I was caught in the mostly-joyful-but-also-exhausting vortex that is 3 babies 4 and under in one house, someone asked me a question.
If you had a whole day to yourself, she said, and you could do anything you wanted to do…anything at all…what would it be?
I had no idea. I thought about it for days. How could I not know? So strange. I’d spent so much time figuring out what was best, what was right and what was supposed to happen next that it had been…probably years…since I had asked myself: What do you want?
These days, I know.
I want a tiny house.
I was watching “Tiny House Nation” with my favorite 12 year old the other day. She loves HGTV and I love….her….and so when she asked me to sit down and watch it with her, I did. And a few minutes in, I realized…I want a tiny house.
This is so cool! I would love one of those.
Wouldn’t it be fun, Mom?? We could all live in one together!!!
Uh…no. That’s not what I meant. That does not sound fun at all. That would be all of us, breathing on each other all the live-long day. The laundry alone would fill the tiny house. What I meant, my sweet girl….what I meant is that I want one of my OWN. By myself. Preferably soundproofed. With strong wifi and cookies and the chocolate that I keep buying for myself that must sprout legs and walk off in the middle of the night…because no one ever ate it…but it certainly is GONE.
Because you and your sister and your brother? You talk all the live-long day. And I’ve read the narrative of how this is supposed to go. I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to working to stay present for each and every sports statistic and tirade about who left who “unread” on Snapchat. I’m supposed to be taking notes and noting milestones and writing down the funny things you say (I’m actually nailing that last one…so we’re 33% there and YOU’RE WELCOME KIDS.). I understand this and I’m sorry….but you’d better hope that reincarnation is a thing and that your next mom is better at all the mom-things….because this mom? Well…some days she would like a little quiet. A little peace. And on particularly wordy days, when you’re talking (and you’ve actually been talking for 60 minutes straight without breathing and I’m wondering if maybe you have a future as a scuba instructor or something..because how are you not pausing to breathe??) and I maybe have a weird-looking smile on my face? It is possible that inside my head there is a voice that is chanting “please stop talking. please stop talking.” over and over again. Not most days…but occasionally. Once in a while, when I’ve had a long day and all of your words feel like a river of prickles flowing over me. And I love words. I really do. But you have SO MANY OF THEM AND YOU USE THEM ALL AT ONCE.
The thing is…I love you. Not even a little bit. A TON. Fiercely, even. Before each of you was born, I had a candid talk with the doctor…it went a little something like this: If you find yourself in a situation where you have to choose between me and the baby? Save the baby.
I still feel that way. If there is ever a choice between me and you?? I’ll choose you, every time.
But you are NOT allowed in my tiny house. Not even if you see the pizza delivery guy show up. It’s going to be quiet in there.