I watch from my solo spot in the café, as an old woman and man come to sit in a booth on the other side of the restaurant. He sits down next to her instead of across the booth from her.
I think as parents, my husband and I get lost in the whirl of children. Sitting next to one another isn’t possible, because we must divide and conquer. It’s us against them in a lot of ways.
Not some epic battle, but sort of a low grade struggle of chaos versus order, in which we represent order and they (the children) represent chaos.
Maybe its having four children, being outnumbered, that seems to result in this little clash of wills. Maybe its this way regardless of the number of children you have.
But does it have to be that way?
These days, I find myself embracing the chaos more and more. It isn’t the end of the world if we all have wrinkled clothes. I mean, they smell good so that’s winning to me. It’s not just laundry though.
Its accepting the crying and its domino effect. Sitting still in the whirlwind of outcry and despair, being at peace, that is my latest approach. No rushing to appease, no rushing to scream and discipline. Just sitting still.
Sometimes, I watch my husband do the same thing. We just look at each other sometimes and shake our heads. Maybe that’s our equivalent of the old couple in the booth.
Present to each other, despite the rest of the world.