We bounced around this house like 3 magnets repelling each other. Pants and Plum had only fire on their tongues. I had to summon the power of Grayskull several times as all of my attempts to bring the peace back to Pants Land fell flat.
No one could say anything to anyone without falling under suspicion. No one, it seemed, wanted to surrender their ground. No one liked anyone in this house.
Genius. She knows in her soul that if a cat in a dress doesn't bring joy to my heart, nothing will. She also knows that I am the one to start with because I'm easy to win over. She is a clever diplomat.
I know she has information that I need and she is testing me to see if I am ready to receive it. See, when things get weird, 90% of the time its Plum that has the missing link. She's observant like that. We proceed to snuggle and it happens. She mercifully reveals a piece of the puzzle and tells me that Pants is upset because he doesn't want to leave us.
"Let's make him some dinner", she says to me in the voice of the Holy Oracle that she clearly is, "He needs rice, applesauce and chocolate milk" (These are his favorite foods)
I smile at her the way you do when you wish that you were more like that person and I go with her downstairs to the kitchen to prepare her proposed olive branch. We make rice, mix chocolate milk and grab the applesauce. She suggests we serve this dinner in our Darth Vader veggie tray. Her brilliance knows no end. It is the perfect plate for this mission.
We finish preparations and I begin to head up the stairs toward Pants, "I'll stay here" she imparts and no joke, she gives me that face that you give to someone when you are proud of them for being brave. This kid.
I open the door to find Pants building some Legos. His resting bitch face tells me that he is none to pleased to see my stupid mom face but I gently press on. He sees the food and softens a bit. I say something like "Wanna eat together and talk about your day?"
Nope! He doesn't.
But he is hungry. So he shows me a sprig of mercy and asks kindly for me to please leave the food and let him eat alone. My urge is to squeeze him and kiss his little sad-stricken face a million times but I go. Plum is waiting for me on the stairs with the cat who is still wearing a dress.
Eventually Pants emerged from his room and joined us downstairs for a movie. We made some popcorn. We snuggled. We readied for bed.
Then, finally, in the dark and by the buzz of the air purifier, it happened.
"Mama? Do I have to get married?"
"Nope. It's your choice. You can get married or you can decide it's not for you"
"I don't want to get married"
"I don't want a new family"
"Getting married adds more people to your family. It doesn't take us away"
"But what about if I get married and have to move to a new house? Will you come too?"
Ahhhh, there it is, right there. The source.
I could hear the fear in voice. I could feel his body shuddering while he tried to hide his tears that I could feel falling hot on my arm. I could feel his epiphany as if it were my own heart's epiphany that this life will change and that we won't always live together.
I thought about how I parent with honesty as best I can. I thought about all the heavy answers I have had to give him recently about death and life. I thought about all the ways I could explain to him that he will one day be ok with moving out as an adult and how it won't hurt him then the way just the idea of it does now. I searched for perfect honest words until I gave up. He was exhausted and he needed to rest so I chose my next words very carefully.
"I would love to come", I said.
And with that we drifted off to sleep.