Monday, September 20, 2010

why I stopped hiding dirty dishes to look at the moon

Saturday night I was in the kitchen, trying to hide dirty dishes so that I could leave town on Sunday with the feeling of a clean house. Strange, I know. Not only strange, possibly a little unbalanced. The water to our kitchen sink, and therefor to the dishwasher, had been turned off since Thursday night, waiting for the plumber to arrive on Monday morning. I could have filled the tea kettle with water from the bathroom and heated it so I could wash dishes. Somehow knowing that the water issue would be fixed by Monday and a few runs of the dishwasher Monday afternoon would solve the dirty dishes problem made it ok for me to hide the dishes instead of simply washing them. That's the first part of my unbalanced nature. The second issue here is that I cannot leave town, even for a day, with the house looking messy. It can be messy, certainly. but the mess must be contained and/or hidden. I just need to arrive home to a clean house.

Knowing that we were leaving for Cleveland at the crack of dawn on Sunday I was racing around the kitchen Saturday night cleaning up, organizing, planning for the upcoming week, etc. While I was doing this my little guy was always right where I needed to be standing. I swear I do not know how he does it, but everywhere I needed to put my foot down he was already there. It was like we were doing some weird twister game inspired dance. Mommy left foot in front of stove, Matthew right leg wrapped around Mommy's left leg. We danced this staggered dance around the kitchen, punctuated by the song of "Matthew, get out from under my feet.", and "Matthew, please go play in the living room." This is a very familiar song to me.

A few times I managed to successfully send my little guy out to the living room, where Daddy would try to engage him in an activity that did not involve tripping Mommy and causing her to drop dinner leftovers all over the floor. At one point, before Matthew found his way back to me, I heard Daddy point out the moon that could be seen from the high window above our living room fireplace. The moon! Our little guy loves the moon! This is it- this is what will keep him out of the kitchen!

As I was thinking this I turned around to put something in the refrigerator and tripped over Matthew. How does he get here so quickly? At that point I came to my senses. When our children are acting out they are often trying to tell us something, aren't they? It was time for me to step back and focus on my son, who obviously needed me at that moment. It is hard for me to see these moments, because they are literally every moment of every day. There is no concern about adoption bonding with the two of us. His love language is definitely touch, and he needs to be physically connected to me at all times.

I put down the dish I was holding and picked up my son. I kissed the top of his head and asked him if he would like to go outside and see the moon "in person". It was after 8:00 and it was already dark and so Matthew's face lit up at the idea of going outside when he normally would be heading to bed. We settled into chairs on the patio and talked about the moon. We talked about the Autumn Moon Festival we plan to attend next weekend with Central Ohio Families With Children From China. Matthew told me that the moon looked like a peanut butter sandwich and then pretended to eat it. Then he jumped up from his chair and ran to his tee ball tee, grabbing it like a microphone. Suddenly he was singing Pig On Her Head at the top of his lungs. He then transitioned into a medley of his own creation, ending with Moon Moon Moon. It was an awesome show. Halfway through I ran into the house to grab the video camera and was able to capture a few of the songs.

I sat there watching the show and thinking about how I almost missed this. This one moment in time that we would never have gotten back. This amazing impromptu concert in my backyard. My son fading into the darkness of the yard while the bright orange jack -o- lantern shirt he was wearing glowed. I had a decision to make. Clean the kitchen or have this very special moment. I had no way to know that this moment would be one of the special ones. But I am really glad I took the time to find out.

video

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