That's when I turn everything off so I can be totally "on" for them.
Need cuddles? Want to talk about your day? Want a story? A snack? A trip to the park?
I'm your woman.
I'm mentally prepared to handle anything they might dish at me - grumpiness, meltdowns, whining, boredom...
Or so I thought.
Yesterday really caught me off guard. Yesterday, they came home and...and...and...
...didn't need me.
They ran upstairs to play with each other. They traded Pokemon cards. They played a made-up game with our Uno card deck. The 6 year old read books to the 4 year old.
They played and they played and they played without any conflict for two hours.
At first, I stood around bewildered.
What is this weird feeling? Not being needed/summoned/demanded to do something while both my kids are around?
I think it's called freedom?
For someone who has spent the last 6 years of her life lurching from one loud "Mooooooooooommmmyyyyyyyyy!" call to the other, the silence was...deafening.
Are we really moving on here? Are my kids really growing up? Is this how it feels to watch your kids grow in independence and healthy detachment?
If I've yearned for this day for the last 6 years, why does my heart feel so hollow?
Why does victory feel like loss?
Triumph, like emptiness?
But on the plus side, my kitchen never looked so clean on a Thursday afternoon.