The Uncomfortable Couch

I’d had enough.

Enough of the kids arguing over whose turn it was to play on the computer. Enough of trying to keep the neighbor kids out of our yard and my kids out of theirs. Enough of this or that that I had to remove myself from the mayhem.

But mom wasn’t home, and the care of our four children and dog were in my increasingly frustrated hands.

Sometimes the kids wear me down to the point that I’ll agree to any request no matter how outlandish. Fruit Loops and Red Vines for dinner? Sure. Pop Tarts and Teddy Grahams? Whatever it takes.

That was my mindset last night. To make matters worse, the house was hot and muggy. Temperatures in the Seattle area zoomed into the 90’s which doesn’t sound like much but isn’t comfortable without central air.

I sent the kids upstairs to get ready for bed. The clock over the mantel told me I was two hour late getting them down for the night. I turned off the lights and sat down on the couch.

I heard the kids brushing teeth and changing into the nightshirts that arrived that day from their grandfather. Cabinets were shut and the water faucet was turned on and off enough times that I began to wonder how many children were in there.

I even heard someone flush the toilet.

Some negotiating took place to get Kai headed in the right direction, but eventually the kids made it to their rooms without a major uprising.

I sat in the dark wondering when mom would be home. I wanted to lay down but we own the world’s most uncomfortable couch, and my butt was almost numb from the metal support beam. Instead I pulled out my iPhone and began to play a mindless game of Doodle Jump.

I was nearly asleep when I felt someone scoot next to me. It was Luca. I waited for her to ask me to get her a drink, or turn the hallway light on or adjust the fan. But she didn’t. Any minute now she’s going to ask to play a game on my phone. But she said nothing.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“I just want to sit next to you”, she replied.

So I sat there next to my daughter on the most uncomfortable couch listening to the ceiling fan. Suddenly it didn’t matter that the house was hot or that it wouldn’t be entirely clean before mom arrived home.

If Luca sensed my earlier frustration, she didn’t mention it. But she knew I could use the company.

I learn a lot from my kids.

And often it comes at the most unexpected times.

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