About three weeks ago, I moved in with a family that has four kids (ages 7, 5, 3 & 19 months). I love it. I get to help out with the kids and the house, and in exchange get to live out in the blissfully streetlight-less country, replete with beetles and roly-polys and vagrant Chihuahuas (don’t ask, I don’t really know).
I’ve been thinking about my favorite things about living with kids, and thought it’d be good to hash them out via the blogosphere if for no other reason than to organize them as they careen about in my already full brain.
So here goes.
I love the routine. They get up early, they crash early. I get to fit in to that routine to some degree, and my body loves it. Best sleep schedule I’ve had in years. There’s a level of expectation and schedule that kids’ bodies and minds demand and they function better at that level. They require it. Reminds me I sort of do too.
I love learning the fine fine art of distraction. There is nothing more effective in defusing an argument than distracting one or both parties. What an illustration of how we choose what most occupies us at that moment. What is most attractive. I’m sure we never really grow out of that.
I get to PLAY. Monday we rode bikes in the backyard, which sounds harmless but really resembles more of “we mountain biked through the field that extends past the first fence and way out to the second”. I am constantly impressed and interested in what these kids accomplish. Little goals and little benchmarks become big deals, because they are and they should be. Things like the first jump off the diving board, when you’re so scared because you’re in the deep end and your floaties might not save you even though Mom keeps telling you you’ll be fine. Reminds me not to forget to get excited about the little things, and to try things that seem hard or scary.
I like bugs. I like hunting for roly-polys and I like catching mosquito eaters and I like when I can’t get all the dirt from under my fingernails. I like inventing excuses to get the kids outside mostly so I can be outside too. They get along better out there, and everything’s always new. There’s always something to find and explore and examine.
I have yet to come up with any reasons not to love where I am, because even in the moments where things are noisy or busy or messy or (gasp!) stinky, it’s easy to feel blessed and alive.