Every time we have dinner at Arigato we have to pass the “Slap-N-Tickle” and I just have to laugh. Well, I laugh now. When I was being slapped and tickled in the car wash, it wasn’t all that funny.
Life is like that. Time heals a lot. When we were in the trenches raising two small children, a lot wasn’t funny, it was just plain grueling. We were tired, stressed and overworked. As time has passed, we look back and find ourselves laughing, remembering the antics of Thing One and Thing Two. It’s probably the reason some of us will go through childbirth more than once. The ability of our bodies and minds to overcome, heal and forget. Brilliant, huh?
Now that the Rumputeers are off to college and living their own lives, we miss them dearly. Instead of reveling in the quiet, order and clean, we have The Replacements; two just as needy, and much messier Cockapoo puppies.
We are also so proud we can’t stop talking about them. Them, meaning...who? Both. The kids and the dogs. Nowadays, when we pull out the camera, we have more pictures of The Replacements than the children. When we go out to dinner, it’s the same as when the children were little. We talk about them; the children and The Replacements.
We are still new at being empty nesters. It’s hard to imagine a life not built completely around our children. For me, I don’t feel ready. I’m still tut-tutting, fluffing, nesting and gathering sticks and berries. I anxiously await each return flight of my baby birds to our nest.
Now, we look back and laugh at our lives when we were raising small children. Much like the Slap-N-Tickle car wash I got. I was in neutral, rolling into the self service car wash when my driver’s side window got stuck in the rolled down position. It doesn’t take you long to figure out when faced with this situation that you are going to get wet. Really, really wet. And slapped. A lot.
I was determined to get a good, self service car wash that day and went to the one with the slappy rags. There is not time to unbuckle your seat belt and dive into the back seat once you’ve put your coins in either. I tried. So, I endured. I came out wet, slapped and head-to-toe soapy. On the other side where others were busy pumping gas, I had to open the car door and let out a flood of water and soap suds. Then I had to climb out and shake myself off.
I have to do that a lot.