Where we live, school begins the day after Labor Day. With the children only recently returned from summer with their dad and my being unable to find consistent childcare for the week, I chose to stay home with them, a decision that turned out to be the best one. We have spent the last couple of days talking as we cleaned up hurricane debris outside, knocked the house back into order inside, organized school supplies, and played in the yard. The conversation has been priceless.
"This is uncomfortable," my son said about something that was agitating him. "It's like having a wedgie."
And later from my daughter: "You know, I feel sorry for homeless people because the only friends they have are imaginary ones."
And last night, the sitter documented this particular conversation between my kids:
"Tiny, talk to Daddy."
"No, I no want to talk to Daddy. He's always angry with me. He spanks me."
"That's because you do stupid things and he gets mad at you," replied my daughter.
"I knoooowww," sobbed Tiny, "and I do them anyways!"
The youngest still fits neatly on my lap and I can, for a little while longer, carry him a good ways. Being five, his baby-ness is fading fast. His sister, who starts middle school as a sixth grader next week, has long left those tender days behind. They still both, though, say the sweet things that remind me they will always be their mother's babies, such as these words from Tiny.
"Mom? Mom. Mommy. I wuv 'ou. I weally, weally wuv you."