Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We Are Not Alone

Since becoming a parent, I have noticed a disturbing trend, mommy is never allowed to be alone. I don't know if this is a rule no one told me about while pregnant for the first time or if it's simply part of the evolutionary cycle of parenthood. The other day I decided I would sort through some of the boxes and baskets of stuff that are scattered about my bedroom. Things I have tucked away with the intention of making sense of them later. Later was Sunday. It was time and the various life forms that occupy my house were otherwise engaged, perfect! About fifteen minutes into the process, I was surrounded by the long neglected shoeboxes of pictures, ticket stubs and other assorted bits of minutae that gather in dark corners of your life, happily sorting and planning my attack. I was poised and ready for action when my beloved entered the room "just wondering where I was"...seriously? This is when I realized just how frequently I hear him or one of the boys ask "Where's mom?", when I'm simply out of their field of vision. I don't get it. I have never left the property without telling someone that I'm going somewhere, I've never skipped town and I'm always where I say I'm going to be when I say I'm going to be there. Why the concern? Maybe I'm TOO good about letting them know where I am and they become alarmed when they don't have some kind of printed itinerary for me. Maybe I need the occasional disappearance to keep them from feeling they need some kind of tracking device embedded on my person.
Within a half an hour, each member of the household, including the animals, had checked in on my whereabouts, impeding my progress and kind of killing my sorting mojo. I think it's time to look into an invisibility cloak. I did manage to get the stuff sorted, but with the assorted 'help' from all corners of the house, the whole process took a heck of a lot longer than it should have. It was kind of fun, sharing bits and pieces of my pre-parent life with the kids. I unearthed the front page of the newspapers when the Minnesota Twins won the World Series in '87 and '91, my senior yearbook made an appearance (and my teenager laughed heartily at the 1986 hair), a series of rollercoaster postcards my father had sent during his lengthy visit to Six Flags, commentary and rating of the featured coaster included and lots of other weird remnants of my past life. I think, for the first time, my kids really got it, mom had a whole lot of life before they made their way into the world. I think they were slightly shocked. Seeing pictures of both me and their father with our arms wrapped around people other than each other seemed particularly distressing to Charlie. He did NOT approve of a few shots of me and Jon (my first love) at a dance. Nothing truly shocking, but a few huggy/kissy pictures that seemed to annoy him. What a surprise, to find out that your parents didn't spring fully grown into being your parents and that we actually had identities that had nothing to do with you or each other. That's gonna be you someday, kid.