So many mothers of little children complain how they want time alone. They eye roll and sigh. Can I just take a shower? Can I go to the bathroom without being followed?
I used to be that mother with nary a moment to myself.
I have a cute little picture book about a mama elephant who wants five minutes peace. She heads to the bathroom with some cake and a book and fills the tub with bubbles. She looks forward to a little time by herself, without her three children in tow. One at a time, her children come into the bathroom to talk to her, show her things, and then, splat! They all end up in the tub together laughing. Mama elephant sneaks out quietly amidst the rumpus, to eat her now-wet cake. She has a total of one minute of peace. And she savors every second of it.
Fast forward a handful of years. Little children become big children. Two of them are now teenagers. And whaddya know? My children don’t want to be with me every second. What??!!
WHY NOT??!! I AM FUN!
It’s like total role reversal. Now my children are doing the eye rolling and sighing. These days, it takes more than a bubble bath and cake to get all five of us together. I mean, we’re all together in the same house, but we’re not usually doing the same thing. At once. Together.
Forced family time. It’s something that I thought we’d never go through. Wrong!
For our family, it took a ski weekend where the five us crammed in a hotel room.
We were all sprawled out on two double beds with tired legs, worn out from the ski day. Our bellies were filled with warm chocolate chip cookies, free for the taking from the lobby. Flipping through six channels, we landed on MythBusters. We watched and laughed and commented and ate cookies.
We learned that rockets can launch from gummy bear goo. We learned that we can all squeeze into two double beds. We learned that being together is still a ton of fun.