Mark and I escaped on a rare date night over the weekend and shopped with no timeline. We wandered through aisles looking for a few missing pieces for the kids’ rooms and I was caught off guard by how much we don’t need any more. I tried to cure my longing for all things small by walking passed a Diaper Genie or two and they almost banished the thought of cradling one more diapered butt in my hands.
McKenna’s new room is close to finished. It’s part a heavily-negotiated shade of pink and equal part this-is-the-darkest-color-you-are-allowed-to-get shade of purple.
This is her first room room. She shared a nursery with her brother and then a sort of toddler bed/mattresses-every-which-way space in our last house when she and her brothers couldn’t decide if they wanted to sleep next to each other or with one toe in the other’s ear.
I laid on her bed tonight and looked around and could remember being exactly this. I remember being five and half going on fifteen and knowing what I wanted and carrying a purse half-zipped with cherry Chapstick and Rainbow Brite inside.
I’m pretty sure being too old and not old enough is when you start looking at the back of your door when you’re in your room because you want to be, and pondering deep thoughts. I’m also pretty sure there is a chapter in a parenting book I never read that says this is the beginning of wistful thinking and unanswerable questions.
While she decided if she liked her piggy bank facing front or to the side, the room was just enough quiet for McKenna’s thoughts to tip toe out.
“Mommy, if you have another baby will you keep it or send it back?”
“My tummy can’t have any more babies but if I did I would keep it of course, you silly.”
“But why did you send Hadley back and keep us?”
“I wanted to keep all of you but I only got to keep Hadley in my heart.”
“I don’t think Hadley growed up like I did, Mommy.”
“You don’t? Do you think she is still a baby?”
“Yes Mommy, the clouds can hold babies better. And then you always have a baby in your heart because your tummy can’t have one.”
Sometimes, years and years later, the wistfulness remains but your questions find answers.
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