And you had trouble with “moist.”  Please.


Kids are sticky.  Literally.  They stick to everything.  Your hair, your favorite chair, your mohair sweater (which, come on, you knew better than buying), the dog.  Everything.  Anything coming within a 15 yard radius of the little tikes is bathed in some sort of apple juice, sugar water, Karo syrup blend with ten times the tensile strength of Super Glue.  The mini-van?  Abandon all hope.  Your pick-up or SUV?   (Last bastion of your manliness)  Toast (with grape jelly).  You and I don’t know how it gets there, it just gets there, but from where?

How do our kids make so much stickiness?  Of course they spill anything sticky from juice to honey to soda (another reason to get them on “diet” right away) but that doesn’t explain the sheer volume.  We know they play in what they spill and then smear that around like some sort of viral ticky-tack but it must come from somewhere else too.  Do they secrete it from their pores?  Does it get produced in their bodies from the influx of calories they stuff in their mouths every day?  And when or why or how does it stop?  No one knows, we all just know that one day, one holy, blessed day, they stop glomming onto everything they touch and we begin to make some headway toward cleaning ourselves, our vehicles, our homes and our lawns.

After years of not being able to pry the little buggers’ fingers off our necklaces, glasses and their toys, one day they wash up and stay that way.  Once again our dashboards exist sans the film and fingerprints of our charges.  They hurry off to school, to practice and to their after school lessons and don’t cling to us whatsoever.  We sigh a grateful sigh and turn back to our lives, our careers and our homes secure in the knowledge that finally we can live a life of less stickiness; a peaceful, restful life while our kids go on about their activities.  Until we begin to wonder…

‘What are they doing so long at practice?’  ‘Why do they spend so much time in their rooms?’  How can someone be in the bathroom for 97 minutes?  We wonder these things.  We try to find out these things and at first they are glad to answer, for a few years.  They tell us about their friends and the kids at school and even their schoolwork.  We know, or think we know, what’s going on in their lives, until… we don’t.  “Why won’t you talk to me?  I’m not trying to give you the third degree, I’m just trying to understand what’s happening with you.”  “Please vocalize in a language, I don’t speak “grunt.”  We don’t understand them and they don’t understand us.  The more we try to attach ourselves to them, the more we try with all our might to stay with them, the farther away they go.  There are some harsh words, some shed tears and plenty of frustration.

Suddenly, although it’s probably more gradual than we realize, we are in their business and not welcome.  We are in their space and “Couldn’t we just back off?”  They need their privacy, their autonomy, their own lives and the freedom of their own decisions.  We are the fingerprints on their mirror, the goop on their doorknob, the unwanted stickiness on their image, their rep, their style and on and on and on.  And the harder they try to chisel us off and out of their lives the more we are determined to adhere to them.  We refuse to be shaken.  After all those years, now we are the sticky ones.  With any luck, someday, we will all achieve some rational perspective.

Children come into our lives in a million ways.  By design or by chance or by association.  They come in and set up shop, plunk themselves down and begin to weave us, one sticky web at a time, into their lives.  We might think it’s the other way around but it’s not.  By their very nature, wholly without design or plan, they meld themselves into us when we’re not looking, not aware and too tired to take notice let alone resist.  Through years of persistence they become part of us and we part of them.  Hopefully, at some time, when they’re older, we strike a balance, a symbiotic respect, admiration and need, whose cement, is love.

If we have kids, we’re all at different phases regarding their stickiness or ours.  I don’t think many of us think about how, as families, we’re all bonded whether we want to be or not.  Hopefully this sparked a memory or made you realize how wonderful being stuck with them really is.

Every week I write about life stuff and hope it resonates with you in some way.  If you want to read more, click this to go to my blog’s home page.  If you would like to get updates weekly on what I’m writing about, click here to subscribe.  It’s 100% free and just means you’ll get an email with links to the most current posts; nothing more or less.