All of my little kids were here this evening. Five kids under six, are a bit busy and a bit noisy.
To tell the truth, I had been planning to write this afternoon because I have another chapter just itching to get onto the page. Instead, I threw pizza dough into the breadmaker and started preparing pizza toppings. After that, I made two “impossible pumpkin pies”, and while they were baking, the kids arrived. All five of them at once.
I have to tell you, there’s absolutely nothing like kneeling on the floor while being body-slammed by five little kids as they vie to be the closest in order to get the first hug. It usually turns into a group affair at first, and then we narrow it down to one long hug each before they run off to play.
The five-year-old puts on his knight’s helmet, and then wonders when Pop will be home. He likes it when Pop pretends to fall asleep on the floor while they poke and prod him with things from the doctor’s kit.
(He’s Tigger Woods in the picture.)
The three year old promptly takes off most of her clothes and heads for the dress-up corner, while the 19 month old saunters by. He lives here. He knows the ropes. There’s nothing new and exciting for him.
The one-year-old isn’t walking yet, but he’s able to navigate the step up from the kitchen to the family room, where the toys are. We cheer for him when we realize he’s come back down again without falling like he did last week!
After lots of playing, including “one piano / ten hands”, the evening ends with everyone in the tub. Once they’re scrubbed and shining, they put on PJs and slippers before we herd the four who don’t live here out to the van. The six, five, and three year olds hold out their hands, waiting for the pretzels that I always give them once everyone’s buckled in.
The one thing I miss about all of this though, is getting to tuck them in. When they stay here by themselves, I sing them to sleep with a lullaby my mother used to sing to us:
Oh, mother, how pretty the moon is tonight, it was never so pretty before.
Its two little horns are so sharp and so bright, I hope they don’t grow anymore.
If I were up there in that beautiful sky, and on the bright clouds we would roam,
We’d see the sun rise, we’d see the sun set, and on the next rainbow come home.
We’d call to the stars to get out of our way, lest we should rock over their toes.
And there we would sit, ’til the dawn of the day, to see where the pretty moon goes.
The tune is gentle and repetitive, and it gives me a twinge of sadness when I remember holding my own little ones while singing this song. How is it possible that a 6′ 4″ son once came in a cuddly 8 lb. package, and that I rocked him to sleep while singing about the moon?
Do I have a point to this ramble? Probably not. Evenings filled with kids, noise, and baths just make me remember.