Last week was a quiet week in our house. I told you in one of my previous blogs that it was almost too quiet here and the reason for it being so quiet was a story for another day. Today is the day to tell the story...
Last week all of the men in the house kissed us girls good-bye and headed off for an adventure of a lifetime. Stan took the two boys to Europe ~ specifically Warsaw and Krakow in Poland and Prague in the Czech Republic. Stan and I realized Zach is almost finished with his junior year of high school and it was a perfect time to take them abroad. We have friends who live in Poland and we have Jan's family who lives in the Czech Republic, so we decided there was no time like the present for all of them to go visit our friends in Europe.
Time with these kiddos is going so fast, and nowhere was it more apparent than in our house last week. It was nearly silent here. Claire and I had a blast together, but it was just the two of us. I much prefer life when it's the five of us. I like the loud banter and the pounding through the house that is the noise of the boys. All too soon, it will be just four of us. Zach will be gone, but I don't think he'll go too far. He has told me he wants to be kind of close to home when he leaves for college in a little more than a year.
Lucas is a different story, and that was brought home to me last week.
Ever since Lucas was little he has been his own child. He's been happy in his own company and he's always been able to separate from us easily. As an infant he was able to entertain himself in his swing for hours. He would play for a bit and sleep for a bit. He was rarely fussy or demanding. He was a happy, easy-going baby. He never really pushed to grow up. He was happy to stay in his crib and had zero desire to give up diapers. Zach and Claire were demanding, fussy and all too eager to shed the encumbrances of baby-hood. Where Lucas was happy to wear a diaper until he was well over three, Zach and Claire gave them up quickly, both potty training before they were two. Where each of those two longed for a big kid bed, Lucas had zero desire to leave his crib behind and didn't until he was four. He was completely happy being wherever he was and doing whatever, whenever.
When he first started preschool he would walk happily into class, look back, wave and go do his own thing. There were few tearful good-byes when it came to Lucas going on to school. He was completely content to have us leave so he could get on with his play.
It was only at bedtime where we saw a slightly clingy Lucas, the one who didn't want us to leave him. Stan and I would take turns putting all of the kids to bed every night. And each night was the same routine for all of them. Bath, books and bed. Claire would be read to rocked to sleep first and then Lucas and on to Zach. Lucas would sit snuggled into our laps and have us read and read and read. When reading was done we would rock. And rock. And rock some more. Just when we thought it was safe to pick Lucas up and put him in his crib he would hold up one, tiny, little pinky finger and say "Rock-a-minute" in his sweet little-boy voice. And we would. We would sit and rock and rock and rock. The pattern was repeated a couple of times each night. The little pinky finger and the little voice. "Rock-a-minute."
This went on for years. And I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed each and every night of rocking Lucas and hearing his own version of a catchphrase. There are days where I can still hear his sweet little voice saying "Rock-a-minute."
The little boy who didn't want to grow up in so many ways showed me while he was in Europe that he wants to grow up a little more than I'm ready for. He showed me that he can be the little boy I used to drop off at pre-school with a kiss and a wave. I'm not ready for that. At all. While he was in Europe he sent me several texts and this is part of our text exchange...
Lucas: Hey it's Lucas. How is America?
Me: Wait! Is this Lucas POKRYWKA?!!?
Lucas: Yes this is Lucas, your son. Why?
Me: I was just teasing you. Usually you sign your name "Lucas Pokrywka" and in the above message you only said it was Lucas. How are you, Love?!? Are you having a blast??
Lucas: Yeah, I'm having a great time. The only reason I have internet is this crystal shop we're in has it...So how is America without me?
Lucas: Ok, I have to go. We are leaving the shop. Talk to you when we get home.
Lucas: Hey Mom!
Me: Hey Sweetie!!!
Lucas: How is America...I don't want to come home. I want to stay here. :-(
There are more text messages, but it was here where my heart lurched in my chest. It was at this line I realized how easily Lucas could walk onto a plane bound for Europe, look back, wave and go do his own thing. The last line made me realize how much I wanted to hold him in my arms and hear him say "Rock-a-minute" in his little boy voice.
Oh, for the love of my children....