Three and a half years ago… it wasn’t that long ago and yet, it was. So much has changed and now: I’m one of the sitting moms. So if you’re in that season where you’re chasing your kids everywhere, constantly doing a headcount and wondering if you’ll ever get a break: you will. This post was originally published on 1/22/13.
One… two… three.
The non-stop headcount done by this mama of three young boys whenever we are out anywhere. The one that occurs even more often at some place like a waterpark, where we spent the past two days.
But it was also freaking exhausting.
Not just the stress of making sure not to lose any of three, but making sure not to lose them when were were somewhere where they could possibly drown. And even if they were right there with me, it was still up and down stairs to slides, carrying inner tubes and mats, then swimming around and constantly keeping an eye out. Totally exhausting.
While my family was taking a snack break (aka everyone sitting down at the table so I wasn’t worried about counting heads), I had a chance to look around.
And I saw moms who got to just SIT THERE.
Most of the sitting moms weren’t even in bathing suits. A few may have had them on underneath cover-ups, but the rest were in regular street clothes.
Some had books in hand.
Others were working away on tablets.
Still others were gathered in groups, chatting away.
The occasional one with eyes closed, possibly napping.
And I mentally tabulated how many years it would be until I could be one of the sitting moms.
When we could go somewhere like a water park and I could show my boys the table where I would be sitting and just let them head off by themselves. With instructions to come find me if they needed me and to check in at a certain time or after a certain number of slides. And my hair wouldn’t be wet and I could stay in my regular clothes, keeping my swimsuit in my bag.
No standing in lines for slides, no getting splashed, no running around. I could pull out a book or catch up with work or even rest my eyes and do absolutely nothing at all, without fear that someone would get hurt or lost.
It sounded so peaceful, to be able to be one of the sitting moms.
I sighed as I realized that day is still so far off.
But then my boys pulled me back to them with their excited chatter of what they wanted to do next and what they absolutely had to try again because it was the best ride ever and who would get to sit by Mommy on the big tube slide.
And I realized that even though this time in their childhood can be absolutely exhausting, it’s also pretty magical.
They’re excited over every little thing- no eye rolling in the 8 and under set.
They want me along with them and will even fight over who gets to ride with me.
And I catch a glimpse of one of the sitting moms and wonder what her teens would do if she were to go change into her swimsuit and join them and their friends. Something tells me that even with the sweetest of teens, they wouldn’t muster up the excitement of my little boys- and there might be some eye rolling involved.
So I’ll try to remember to enjoy these years when my boys need me right with them to join in their fun.
Even if I did collapse from exhaustion at the end of each day.