Hit and Run

I check my watch to make sure I’m home in time for the kids. I imagine them coming in grabbing a snack and sitting at the counter together. I’ll be sipping my tea while they share the events of the day. I’ll learn what’s happening at school and hear their perspective on its joys and injustices. But that scene is only in my head. This is a more accurate picture….

 They come racing off the bus. One son cutting across the field and the other one running up the driveway barging in through two separate doors. They hurl their backpacks on the couch and kick off their shoes. They box each other out at the fridge as if there is a scarcity of food. Then they talk over each other vying for my attention. They scarf down a snack as they unload the events of the day and finally bolt out the door in search of their friends. With the slam of the door I take stock of the last ten minutes and conclude I’ve been a victim of a hit-and-run accident. The scene of the crime is littered with debris and my injuries include a bruised soul and a headache. Forget the cup of tea, I need a glass of wine.

Today was another after school hit-and-run and my head is reeling. It seems crazy that someday I’ll miss the intensity of their daily homecoming just like I miss certain things from earlier years. It wasn’t that long ago when I was starving for a few hours to myself; dreaming of a trip to the grocery store without an entourage and wondering what big ideas I could conjure up if only my thoughts were uninterrupted. Now that they are in school all day, I miss the open days of taking them to story time at the library, visiting friends and feeling their small hand in mine while doing the mundane. I miss reading to them on the couch and peaking in on their sweet little faces during nap time. Each time has its own moments that seem endless but then suddenly melt away. It’s hard to appreciate those moments when the kids are under my skin and driving me up a wall, but those create the best memories because they are so emotionally charged. These moments are like a hit-and-run. They leave dents that never fully get buffed out.