My life. Pirated. All the way.
Gangplank. I’m on it. I turn, slowly, back to face the ship and its crew, and I see them.
The pirates. All larger than life and ferocious.
They’re little and cute.
And their giggles are high-pitched. And their singing is out of tune. And their smiles would melt the staunch-iest of staunchest Scrooge’s heart.
Yet they are daily in my life. Turning it inside out and upside down.
Let me give you two examples: Books; Baths.
Before I was ever a mommy, my most favorite things in the whole wide world were books and baths. And, best of all, a good book while taking a long, lounging bath. With bath salts. With bubbles. With candles and dim lighting. All night just to soak, smile, and enjoy.
But as I stand on that gangplank and look back at those little pirates, I am reminded about two things. Two of their favorite things: Books; Baths.
While I have Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline on my nightstand, I have these on my couch:
They take up an entire sitting space. But not too much space that a little one-year-old can’t squeeze next to the books and climb excitedly in my lap.
Then we pick up the books, often the same, repetitively, and read with great excitement Tumble Bumble, The Big Red Barn, Little Blue Truck, Room on the Broom-just to name a few. We read them. Daily. With great excitement. And I get as excited as Maxwell when he spies a duck for the gazillionth time and says “Quack, quack.” Or when he picks up Tumble Bumble and yells, with his pacifier teeming on the tongue of his mouth, “Tumble, tumble!” Which then leads me into a practical poetry recitation of the book, throwing my arms up at the end and yelling, “Hooray” alongside my little pirate, diapered-bottom boy!
Adelyne. Well, let’s put this in a Brooke equation: Adelyne + Books = What?
Let’s just say, Adelyne plus books equals nearly a half million words read in one semester of school. You should know that she just barely left her 7th year 3 weeks ago. Yep. I need not say Adelyne loves books as much as momma. But I should say that she possibly loves them more.
Therefore, if my book, Orphan Train, stays shelved for months yet to come but their books are daily unearthed, read, and spines on books such as The Bobbsey Twins, How to Eat Fried Worms, and Diaries of a Wimpy Kid are opened and bent and worn and loved, then so be it! My book can sit a little longer and gather dust as long as their books are thrown wildly into the air, caught, and read, allowing them to escape into another adventure of their imaginations.
I love books. And now my children love books.
The pirates can have my time. And my books. Any day.
But let’s move along to baths…
Ah. Baths are the perfect invention for relaxation. How did I not realize that they would be stripped from me the moment our first child, Adelyne, cannonballed into our lives? Hmmm. I guess I am a little slow on some things.
But looking back, while standing on the gangplank, memories flash through my mind. One of the latest baths by my two little pirates. The waves were enormous, frothing, and cascading. But my pirates stayed afloat with giggles. They had pirated my bath but opened the treasure chest of my heart. And they just seemed to be having way too much fun. Their daddy took the bubbles in his hand, lifted his lips near them, tilting his head northernly and blew. Bubbles were sent cascading into the air while the two naked, bathing pirates shouted, “Snow! Snow!” Lifting bubbles to their lips and doing the same.
Bubble snow, naked babies, giggles, and memories. Invaluable valuables that are irreplaceable. Especially as Mother Time continues to tick. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day, refusing to stop for anyone or anything.
Therefore, my baths. They can pirate them at any moment of any day. Gladly!
Pirates. Standing on the gangplank of mommyhood and looking at the boat of pirate children in front of me, I have come to the conclusion that if the gangplank means that I sacrifice what I once loved most to give those same things to those I love most, then I’ll walk that gangplank and give up everything. Everything but love.
Mommies, I challenge you to do the same thing, too.
Walk the plank. You’ll be glad you do.