August 17, 2008

Living With Kids

There is a significant amount of sharing that you do when living with housemates. in all the many cities and homes I've lived in over the years very few have been with housemates. Usually it has been with significant others which has a different sharing expectation. My current living arrangement brings a whole new set of experiences considering that two of my housemates are under the age of five.

Sharing does not come easy to four and two year olds. In fact, they run the house. Adults are really just there to setup barriers or provide access to all the things that border on danger. Reaching that danger point is the ultimate triumph of little folks. I witness this scenario every day.

In our house the couch is not for sitting. No. It is a launch pad for jumping, crashing and throwing. Only after the exhaustion of total blissful destruction can the couch be considered for resting. There have been many a weekend afternoon when I've come home to a scene of total anarchy and amongst the piles of pillows sleeps a little boy who has, mid-adventure, fallen into lala land. The first few times I was not sure if it was sleep or a concussion since the boys are in positions that look like they literally just fell over mid-crash.

The two year old loves to run in circles around the house. In this old Victorian every foot fall makes the building shake. I imagine he gets quite a bit of satisfaction from the echoing noise and vibrations as he runs. It is amazing how much focus and determination he puts into the running which always ends with some kind of tearful mishap.

My part of the house is way above the wildness. I do hear and feel the jumping but it does not dominate my peaceful space. Instead I find myself wondering - when do we grow out of this passion and immediacy and become self-controlled adults. More important - how do we get some of it back?

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