“MOM!! I gotta TELL you sumpthin!”
I cannot tell you how many times a day I hear that phrase.
It is punctuated only by “Mom! I gotta SHOW you sumpthin!” (usually accompanied by the presentation of some sort of insect).
That’s all I hear, all day long, at about 30 second intervals.
Inside I’m screaming “for the love of god, just TELL me / SHOW me already!” I keep that dialogue to myself, however.
My kids (my son especially) love to share things with me. Every thought that crosses their brains: every observation, every criticism, every excitement, every discovery; I hear about it. There is literally no filter between their firing synapses and my exhausted ears.
I should be grateful for this. I should cherish it. This phase is fleeting, and so I should be overjoyed that my children want to share their every thought with me.
It is the very ephemeral nature of these exclamations that should cause me to react with preemptory nostalgia at the sweetness of it all.
Mostly, though, I just close my eyes and pray for quiet.
The day will come – I know – when they don’t want to share with me. The inevitable, hormone-induced shutting-down of the pre-teen years. The natural pulling away that occurs when kids develop their own identities, separate from their parents. Based on the experiences shared by many other parents, that day is basically around the corner – “time flies,” it is said.
“Time flies.” Sure it does. But while time is flying, I am stuck here having to endure 75,000,000 daily exclamations of “MOM, I GOTTA TELL YOU SUMPTHIN!” as my son imparts his recently-acquired knowledge that spiders have 8 legs just like octopi, that moths and butterflies have powder on their wings, that he learned how to say “criss-cross applesauce,” that he’s the second-fastest runner in his preschool class, or that the glass on the front door makes rainbows on the hallway wall. (Usually it is all mashed up together, just like that. There are no segues in preschooler land.)
I get it – childhood is exciting, everything is fresh and new and undiscovered. I LOVE that my kids are tiny explorers, their own little discovery squad. This is exactly why I like being around children – the pure, unadulterated joy of it all is such a refreshing counterpoint to the drudgery of the grownup world (taxes, UGH).
So, with the complete understanding that I do not want to squelch my children’s joy, nor hamper their ability to share freely with me, I put on a big (fake) smile and say softly, “Oh, really?! Please tell me!” with all the manufactured enthusiasm I can muster.
Because this is their childhood, and they are freaking rocking at being kids.
Pre-post update: GAH, just as I’m getting ready to push the Publish button on this post, a super dreamy, ethereal and sentimental song came on Spotify (Beyond this Moment, Patrick O’Hearn). It was the first time I’d heard it and it really did make me flash forward, to a time when I look back on these (currently aggravating) moments in fond recollection, and I got all misty-eyed.
Motherhood is seriously SO EFFED UP.