I love my children. I do. I love their enthusiasm, their gap-toothed smiles, and their sticky hugs. I love watching them run in the backyard and kick a ball. I love how they try to set the table for dinner and are proud that they could help.
The vomit? Not so much. Poopy patrol? Good riddance. Permanent markers on the white couch (oh wait, that one was The Husband). The crying, temper tantrums, angry slamming of doors? (Uh, guess those last few were me.)
Bickering of siblings: won't miss. Tattle-taling: won't miss. Whining: won't miss. After-lights-out-I'm thirsty: won't miss. 5 AM wake-up call: won't miss. Accidental kick in the chin (don't ask): won't miss. The making-of-food-for-hungry-people all day long: won't miss.
I don't mind the dirt. I don't mind the laundry. I don't mind the money spent, nor the long hours. It's mostly the noise level and the pure "physicality" of small children that wear on me.
I think I might end up being the First Mother In History (who will publicly admit it anyway) that actually looks forward to Empty Nest Syndrome.
Aack! Did I just type that? Will the Mothering Police arrest me in the next five minutes?
There was a great TV commercial a few years ago (who knows what it was advertising) that showed a teen-ager going off to college. The teary-eyed parents wave goodbye to him as he drives away. Then, they practically sprint to his former bedroom and start taking measurements for a hot tub. When Junior returns for Christmas break, his parents (who seem to have forgotten he was due home) are luxuriating in said hot tub. Of course the ad made me laugh, but even more: I could relate. I say, yes! after 18 years, they have earned it.
I had a long and happy life before my two sons arrived on the scene, and I anticipate having a long and happy life once they go off to college. I enjoyed Act I, I am living Act II, and Act III does not fill me with dread.
What is wrong with me? Will I not miss my children?
I think what it is, is this: right now, I miss me.