Rhubarb is sprawled out on the pineapple chair and ottoman reading a biography of Bach. Her braids hang down over her eyes, making me wonder how she can see what she is reading. Every few pages she pauses to offer a bit of Bach trivia. "He was Lutheran, like you Mamma." "Did you know that Bach played the violin, the viola, the organ, the harpsichord, and sang?" Each fact she offers up leads to more questions, inquiries she would like resolved through a quick internet search. As I am perched on the couch, writing in this blog, I can easily appease her. The question of Beethoven's deafness leads us on the most labyrinthine search. We decide we will go with the theory that both his hearing loss and his maniacal behavior were the result of lead poisoning, which was the result of his obsession with spa visits and mineral water.
If you had told me a year ago that our nights would look like this, I might have scoffed a bit. It was only yesterday (nearly literally) that bedtime, meaning all kids in bed AND asleep, offered my first peaceful moment of the day. Prior to that, the idea of us all hanging out and reading together was a fantasy I had abandoned years ago. Yet, here we are, cozy, settled, quiet, sharing space and heat while indulging in our own pastimes.
They are growing up, my little bundles of energy. I am surely entering a new phase of motherhood, one devoid of diapers, all night nursing, and cut up grapes and filled with long conversations and shared interests, tossed with a pinch of eye-rolling and a handful of frustration.
I have to confess: I really love it. Though babies and toddlers are adorable and I loved each of my little mookies at those ages, I have always been a bigger fan of older kids. I much prefer diffusing a little tension in the house with humor that gets us all laughing over trying to distract a screaming toddler with another toy. And though there is nothing like a big fat wet kiss from a tiny little mouth, I cannot get over how beautiful it is to snuggle up next to my nine year old boy, my eldest daughter just a few feet away, and share a bit of relaxation through literature.
Since I am waxing nostalgic, here's a short jaunt down memory lane, culminating in a few sweet moments with my now older kids:
I asked why they don't kiss anymore and got collective groans.
And some things never change: