Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Timmy Moved Out, Growing Pains, and a Whole Lot of Messy Bits

Today we have another snow day. I think today is number 6 and if we get as much as they are predicting and a zero wind chill for tomorrow, I think we will have more. The snow has just started falling and my house is quiet. No one was up, or at least I didn't think so until I saw Molly sitting in the kitchen on her iPod in the dark. She asked me if we had school, a delay or no school.

 I replied, "No school today, but why didn't you wake me if you thought we had school?" 

"Oh, why would I do that? You looked so peaceful in your sleep. I wouldn't want to disturb you," She said with a crooked smile.

In just the few minutes that I have been sitting here, the roof tops are now covered and it is starting to stick to the driveway. Every time we have had snow days this school year, it has been near a weekend and has given us longer extended weekends. This sounds nice. Snow days make you slow down. They are better than weekends because on weekends, parents usually spend most of their time running their kids to one activity to another. I am no different. But on snow days, all the activities stop. You don't have to get up or be anywhere. You can make a batch of cookies, read a book, watch a movie. Snow days are a gift and can be magical. 

But then there is that saying, "too much of a good thing." Like I said, all of our snow days this year have given us long weekends and this one is no different since yesterday was MLK Day. We already have had three days home together. One mom on her blog referred to Christmas break as a hostage situation. Sometimes too much time together is not good for anyone…including my own. 

The last time we had snow days, the kids had just come off from winter break, went to school for one day and then were home for five days. That's a lot of family time. During one of those days, I was in the shower when Ryan comes barging in and announces that Timmy has moved out. 

My first thought was, "Ugh, I forgot to lock the door!" Second, "At what age do kids finally stop barging in on you when you are behind a closed door?" Then, I asked, "What do you mean, Timmy has moved out?"

"Timmy has emptied out all his clothes and stuff from his side of the closet and has moved it all to the room in the basement." 

Timmy and Ryan have shared a room ever since Molly was born. She is about to turn ten. So for ten years they have been together and Timmy feels that that is long enough. He has written me long letters stating all his points as to why he should have his own room. He sometimes changes it up a bit and writes why he shouldn't have to share a room with Ryan. 

Timmy and Ryan are very similar in some respects. They both are competitive. They both love sports. They both play basketball. But Ryan has a bit of Oscar Madison in him, and Timmy is a bit of a Felix Unger.

Can two brothers share a room without driving each other crazy? Well, it lasted for ten years until the day I was in the shower, (Why does everything always happen when the mom is in the shower?)

I didn't make a big deal of it. I just let him stay down there. There is a part of me that was sad that it has come to the point that he felt he needed to move out. They don't always fight. There are times that I can hear them talking in their room after the lights are out. On those nights, there is one part of the mom in me that opens their door and tells them to quiet down and go to sleep, but there is that other part of me that is happy inside that they are laughing and giggling and just sharing stuff with each other.

It has been almost three weeks since the big "move out." I ask him if he is happy in his new space. He says, "Yes." He says he does not want to move back up to his room. There are draw backs. The room is my guest room. So if Timmy stays there, I have lost a guest room. The room doesn't have a closet. But there is a closet in Molly's play room which is just a few steps away. Molly also has to walk through the guest room to get to her play room. It was originally a storage room and we finished it a number of years age so the girls had a place to set up their Barbie houses without the boys coming through like tornados and destroying everything. Last weekend, Timmy was angry because Molly woke him up when she walked through to get to the Barbie room. It was 10:00 am though. So after being in the basement and weighing all the pros and cons of moving out of his room he has decided to stay in his new space.

The other night Molly and I were watching the movie Letters to Juliet. An English girl had visited Italy and had fallen in love. She was a teenager and even though her heart wanted to stay in Italy, she made a choice and returned to England with her family. Now, fifty years later, she is on an adventure to find her lost love, Lorenzo. At one point she is in the car with her grandson as they pull up to a mansion in the beautiful countryside of Italy and her grandson says something about fifty years ago he was a farm hand and now he owns the land. You got to miss all the messy bits. The grandmother replies, "Life is the messy bits."

Life is the messy bits. This saying has always stayed with me. My house is a disaster at the moment. Every January has always been a reorganizing month for me. But now I have beds that were in the guest room taken apart. We have Timmy's bed moved in. We have piles of stuff in the basement as we sort through stuff that we don't need any more. Growing pains. They never seem to go away. There is always another phase that our kids are going through. It doesn't seem to matter which phase they are leaving and which one they are entering, it always pulls at a mama's heartstrings. Whether it's moving into a big kid bed, not using a sippy cup any more or wanting a space of their own so that they can have a desk to do their homework without the annoyance of their little brother, the heartstrings get a tug.

And there are other signs that they are growing that has changed my whole way of thinking. Molly and I went shoe shopping on Friday. She wanted a pair of boots that other girls in her class have. They were black boots that lace up just above her ankles…combat boots. But I also wanted to buy something. I have my tall boots and my Uggs but I was looking for some shoes that would be warm in the cold weather if I didn't want to wear my boots and it was too cold to wear my little ballerina flats that my toes freeze in. I starting walking up and down the aisles looking, trying to find something that would be comfortable, that would keep my feet warm but would not make me look like an old lady. I also didn't want to be wearing something that made me look like I was trying to be a teenager or that my own teenager would look at and say, "Mom, you can't wear those!" I felt old as I was looking through the shoes that day. And then a young girl asked if I needed help. I looked at her, this young girl, would she understand my dilemma? I explained what I was looking for, I told her I didn't want to look like an old lady but can't look like one of those moms that is trying too hard to hold on to their youth. This young salesgirl understood. She actually showed me the little boots she was wearing that laced up but weren't combat boots. She said they were super comfy…and they just went on sale. And they had my size! I bought two of them, a pair in black and a pair in tan. I couldn't find her after I tried them on, but I told the girl at the register to please tell Jessica thank you for all her help. She did more than help me find a pair of shoes, but made a mom of teenagers not feel so old at that moment. My own growing pains.

And one finally note about these growing pains. Last week we emptied out the kids bathroom. It was disgusting. Doesn't seem to matter what I do, they can't seem to keep it clean. So we emptied it of everything. I mean everything. I bought them each a bin, and they now have all their own personal products that they bring back and forth to the bathroom when they go take a shower. The only thing that is in the bathroom is toilet paper and towels. But I had Molly and Ryan go through the bin of bath toys that was still in there. I was going to let them keep it but just sort out what they didn't want anymore. 

Look what is now in the give away pile!

There are no more alligators in the bathtub!

So there you have it, Timmy moved out, kid growing pains, mama growing pains, no more alligators in the bathtub, and a whole lots of messy bits…but life is the messy bits and I wouldn't change a thing.

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