My children are perfect.
Right now, one is stomping up the stairs in a fit of temper. I asked him to go to his room to cool off, but mid-way, he has decided not to give me that satisfaction.
“You want me to go to my room?” He huffs. “Then I think I’ll stay right here!”
So now he’s back, fuming. His big, green eyes bright with insult.
“So, stay right here.” I say agreeably, refusing to be drawn into his tantrum.
“Oh, you want me to stay here? Then I’m going to my room!” He yells and stomps back up the stairs.
I keep my smile on the inside, but little bits of it come out in the upturn of my mouth.
The minute he is gone from the room, my little one, five now, not really so little, jumps in front of me, pulling on my arm, dancing around me annoyingly. “Mama! I want you to play legos with me. Now! Can we play now?”
He’s biting the neckline of his shirt, exactly like I’ve asked him not to do a thousand times. I don’t want to play legos, but his little face is insistent. He is desperate to play, clenching the shirt tightly between his teeth, squinting his eyes real hard, hoping his wish will be answered, that I will not say, “wait” for the third time, that I will just play, which I do, but not without a heavy sigh. Did I mention I really don’t want to play?
My oldest son bounds in like a puppy. “Mommy? Can you get me a snack?” I should tell him to get it himself.
He’s eleven, but I’m all too happy to be released from lego prison. Besides, he may be my oldest but he’s my least responsible; more likely than my five year-old to spill his cup of water or rip open a bag of pretzels to drop right to the floor like pick-up sticks. Right now, I’m trying not to notice that his tee shirt is both inside out and backwards.
I come back to find him happily engaged with my youngest. They are soaring their creations around each other, complete with battle sound effects. I place the pretzels and drink down, and hear my middle son storming down the stairs. He pauses when we make eye contact, just long enough to growl at me.
These three boys, so different, physically, emotionally, developmentally; each with their strengths and weakness, yet, there are moments I am blown away by their absolute perfection; their eyes full of hope, their growing psyches, their innocence and their honesty, their flawless youth.
They are not tainted by the world, have not suffered crushing rejections and disappointment. They have not been stripped of their pride, had to learn real life lessons, had their dreams shattered around them. Their lives are open, their paths, a journey and an adventure. They are beautiful in their possibility and their promise.
They are as children should be. Perfect. Untainted. And I try not to get emotional, when I realize the inevitable; that they will grow, and become people. People with baggage. It breaks my heart a little, but then I remember, they will always be perfect, because they will always be my babies.