Lord help me, I love them something fierce

Today there was a shift in the universe. Did you feel it?

It happened about 6:30 tonight. I was driving home after taking one child to tae kwan do, and had carpool duty for the little ballerina and her friends at the same time. Both boys were in the car, begging to be let out as soon as we were within running distance of our neighborhood.

Apparently the soundtrack from Glee, combined with the high-pitched chatter of three little girls, was causing their heads to explode off their bodies.

I gave in today, as I was just too tired to fight them on it.

After dropping off the noisy ballerinas, I headed home, fervently wracking my brain for a dinner plan that did not include the words "Subway" or "Mc" anything. Unfortunately, the brain wracking was not netting me any brilliant ideas.

Tired, with feet hurting, I opened the door to the house and was met by a light, sweet scent. I set my purse and keys by the door and walked through the mudroom towards the kitchen. And then I stopped, a lump caught in my throat.

There were my boys. Cooking dinner. All by themselves.

This was a real first. And my mind could not help but flash back to a time when I'd walk in the door and frequently find my boys doing this instead:

They were an energetic pair, these two, that is for sure. Sometimes so bent on their loud and wild play that a wake of broken things was often left behind them. They destroyed a historic landmark and nearly caused me death by embarrassment in the process. Not to mention became walking birth control advertisements for more than a few younger siblings.

But here today, these once-terrors grew up just little a bit, right before my eyes. As I watched McKay confidently flipping the pancakes, and Chase at the stove scrambling some eggs, I got a little teary eyed. I thought back to those hard nights where it was all I could do to not fall down in a puddle of tears before bedtime rolled around. Days spent wrestling them in store checkout lines and then fearfully chasing after them in crowded parking lots. Wondering if they'd be this way forever.

Wondering how I would survive if they were.

But tonight they looked older to me than they ever have before. Chatting pleasantly with each other, they worked together doing such a grown up task. Taking it upon themselves to do something they knew would make my life just a little bit easier. It was a brief window into the men they are becoming. Men who have good hearts. Hearts at home in their sweet, pure souls. I stood there in the shadows, soaking it all in. A tear spilled out, and I caught it before it trickled down my cheek and betrayed my sudden rush of emotions.

Then all at once, Hannah brushed by me, threw off her coat and scrambled up to the bar.

"Yay! Pancakes!"

Yay pancakes, indeed.