So, met the new neighbors yesterday. A couple. He works in computers. She is a kindergarten teacher. (Her mannerisms very much resembled my old college chum, Amy. Hi Amy!!) No children; just a small dog. They seem nice and friendly. Actually I was very much reminded of J and I about seven or eight years ago. In our first actual house, a couple dogs, a couple cats, no kids, working for the man, living life, chugging along. Their life seems so simple and sweet. Easy.
Coming off the heels of a birthday party and witnessing my little fuego haired boy run, jump, make obnoxious noises, be loud, and see the disdain in other party patrons faces. To hear comments made about "that little red head boy" when they don't realize he is my little red head boy. I observe Wonder Boy obsess over a classmate who acts like the very site of WB disgusts him. I watch from the sidelines as this boy does everything he can to oppose WB's affections. The look on his face is what kills me. (The look you get when you just throw up in your mouth and you swallow it back down, feeling the burn on the sides of your throat.) And it pains my heart to watch Wonder Boy try over and over again to win this boy's attention. I try and fail to redirect Wonder Boy's efforts to other kids playing alone. When I interject, I only make Wonder Boy more frustrated and his fragile line of confident and sensitive is blown to pieces in a flame of crying and fighting, struggling. Which, of course, only makes me overly frustrated and angry.
A few definitions of "FIRE" are: flashing light; luminous appearance, brilliance, burning passion; excitement or enthusiasm; ardor, liveliness of imagination. All of which describe my "el fuego" perfectly. Other less attractive definitions of thus same word are: severe trial or trouble; ordeal; exposure to fire as a means of torture or ordeal. The latter not as poetic as the first, but let's face it, describes Wonder Boy just as eloquently.
Add a five year old, overly dramatic, falsetto pitched, tutu wearing, twirling girl. Plus a two year old toddler who is into everything possessing the ability to empty the contents of your make-up drawer, smear saving cream all over your bathroom, unroll an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet, dump out the dog food bag, spray cleaning agents all over your kitchen floor and cabinets, draw on her legs with permanent marker and poop in her diaper in a two-minute time-frame. She's so quick in fact, she can do all that in the moment it takes you to wonder to yourself: "where is Baby Love?"
I'm always reminded of a tornado when my family of five roll in to visit people. We loudly blow in, destroy, disrupt, never stop moving, raise blood pressure, not allow you to finish a thought or a sentence, reprogram your computer, lock your freezer door, set alarms you don't know how to turn off, lose your keys, rearrange furniture, break at least two items and blow out as quickly as we blew in leaving people in a trail of windblown hair and thinking 'what the hell just happened here?'
Which brings me back to my new neighbors. Living their quiet life of routine and order with a perfectly, pampered pup. What we must look like to them. I think what J and my life would be like if we decided not to have kids. Sometimes I barely remember our couple-dom together even though it was only six years ago. Much has happened I suppose. I found myself lost in thought the other day, pondering what our existence would be like if we just had two girls or if we had stopped with WB. Would we be better parents? Would my house be cleaner? Would life be easier?
A family-friend, a family of seven, stopped by on the fourth of July, out of the blue, unexpected. They were driving through from their home town of Utah and decided to stop for a visit. It was great to see them. We stood in amazement of how our families have grown and gotten older, taller. Their five children all so well behaved and sweet. Mine being active, loud, fighting, crying. . . . . sigh.
My only hope for Wonder Boy is he'll continue to let his el fuego burn, not letting anyone extinguish his flame. For I know that fire is what will make him successful in life. As I'll continue to help him turn his efforts to people and things that are worth wild and helpful to him.
My only hope for The Divine Miss O is she'll use her dramatics and falsetto-flare to beat to her own drum always. As her liveliness is beautiful and awe-inspiring. I hope she draws from her brother's determination and burning passion as she helps him learn not to waste his efforts on futile experiences and beat his own drum as well.
My only hope for Baby Love is she'll use her determination and sense of humor to carve out a path of her own. No doubt she'll outwit and outplay to become an ubersmartscientist or ruler of the free world. Mark my words.
And finally, to answer my own questions . . . . . although life would be simpler and cleaner with a smaller family I'm sure, it would be less full-filled and exciting. It is Wonder Boy who challenges me everyday, bringing adventure. It is Miss O that colors my world with fanciful twirls and sweet embraces. And it is Baby Love who brings laughter, keeping me two steps ahead of the game. As exhausting and frustrating as it is, my hope for our family is we form a strong unit filled with crazy, messy love.