Visit my house, and it’s pretty obvious that I don’t like chores. Laundry is handled by my husband, and the spurt of motivation that I got last week to list All Unused Baby Things on Craig’s List is evident in the unpurchased items clogging my family room. “Let’s sell them and get money,” I thought. And some items (three) were sold. But most sit here, unused and cluttering in the same way but also worse because now they’re out in the open instead of gathering dust in hidden closets that we don’t have enough of.
The selling of the unused baby items and figuring out which should be donated and which should be sold makes me think about chores. The chore charts that I had as a child – the weird calendar that my mom made listing our names next to items like doing dishes and setting the table.
I think about chores, and about mine, and I think about work and my son and this cluttered life of ours filled with too many toys and not enough dirt. I think about love. I resolve to say no to indoor legos tomorrow and yes to the dirt. It’s finally almost maybe not snowy or rainy and the dirt calls me with promise of castles and cradles and forts and army men. Maybe, we’ll dig the beginning of a tunnel to China.
For my little boy, it’s a chore to brush his teeth with the not-baby toothpaste. It’s huge for him, and each night, we make a game of it. Bought the not-baby toothpaste with Hulk and Iron Man and Spidey right there on the bottle. We tell him that his favorite Superheroes don’t like it, either, but that they use it anyway.
His chores, at five, are different than mine were at five. As in, he doesn’t really have any. Some of that has to do with the fact that he’s an only child, and some of that has to do with the fact that just three years ago, he wasn’t talking and things like chore charts were the furthest thing from my mind. Chores and dressing himself and peeing in the potty seemed so far away then.
For some reason, I’m also thinking about the Blank Spaces. Those filled with love, and those filled with the unsaid. The blank spaces that fall between my words, my husband’s words, and my son’s words.
Mine, when asked what I’ll do now, once the initial Craig’s List posts have expired and our room is filled with expected sales: “I’ll deal with it.” The blank spaces are longer. Louder somehow. They contain doubt and procrastination and sentiment. “Give it all away without me knowing. Wait! Do not touch a single thing because Tucker’s Baby Bjorn Bouncie seat has life and memories and is at least worth ten bucks.”
I think about the blank spaces between our words in general. All of the people who automatically say “fine” when asked how they are. The un-uttered worry of parenting and life. The love between the lines.
Usually, after school, we work on Tucker’s special book reading thing, and play outside, and then try to count or do something educational. We suck at that part, by the way.
Today, between the words, this happened. Some of our neighbor kids, who are younger than Tucker and taunt him with “I don’t have to go to school today!” words at the bus stop are scooter experts. I mean, these three year olds zoom up and down the street with lightning shooting out of their wheels and their moms talking to other moms rather than worrying about cars or falling the same way I would if Tucker were able to zoom like that.
He wants to though. He wants to zoom. Or, at least, I think he does. And that’s where the filling in the blank spaces comes in.
Him: “I want that scooter.”
Me: “Ok, buddy, we’ll get you one!”
Him: “No. I might fall and get hurt.”
Me, not saying anything because what do I say, filling in the blank spaces, thinking that Tucker means “I am afraid that I will fall and look stupid and that these boys who are two years younger than I am will laugh and laugh.”
What he’s likely really thinking? I dunno.
I think though that he’s thinking he’s ready to try. Even if it’s in private which is where it makes sense to, until it doesn’t because falling In Public makes it all more real.
Instead of doing chores tonight, I Googled scooters. The whatever kind and the adaptive kind, knowing that Tucker will fly if he feels like He Can Do It, regardless of how the scooter looks. I think. I think about the love that I have for him. For life.
Again, I’m filling in the blank spaces.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. A prompt where writers and bloggers finish a sentence and link themselves to others, doing the same. This week’s sentence is “The chore I hate doing the most is…”
Hosts: Me, Kristi from Finding Ninee
and your gracious co-hosts Michelle Grewe from http://crumpetsandbollocks.com/ (sentence thinker upper)
and Kirstenjill Hudkins Robbins fromhttp://rippedjeansandbifocals.com/