Sometimes we are granted the gift of great clarity. And there it was for me within the dazzling sunlight, as I drove back from dropping the girls off at school on a fine, summerlike May morning. I was choked up watching them walk into the school. They were so alike in their resolve and confident stride, and yet are so wonderfully, at times almost magically different from one another. –Our oldest, so serious, focused, thoughtful and ready for her day, our youngest girl -calm, kind, bubbly sunshine energized for her day. Like small flowers blooming, they grow in childhood.
There was our youngest, our son. Like dew drops touching little buds and little plants, our boy sat eager faced and excited about next year’s prospect of preschool, as we sat outside the school doors. Later that day, his preschool registration would occur. As I sat overwhelmed by my feelings, it abundantly hit me that here I am in the prime of life.
On this clear morning, I realized that yes it’s true. There would be a day when I longed for this-this, that was right before me. I would long for the days where state projects, Girl Scout meetings, homework, baseball nights, and entry into preschool occupied my days and thoughts with them. I would miss the bedtime struggles of reluctant sleepers, who want millions of cuddles and reassurances before they go to bed at night, while all mama wants is some stillness and quiet. I would even miss the bickering and meltdowns- okay maybe not. All too soon, this phase would be done-this phase of young boyhood/girlhood and lovely innocence. Right now, they seem content for the most part in the now, and in doing, being where they are at in life. In this beautiful becoming, they are like Eric Carles’ caterpillars, turning into butterflies.
All too often, my vision is foggy. I am dazed by the dizzying activities, antics, and energy of young children in middle life. We are rushed as a society. As parents, we are collectively pushed, prodded, and left feeling almost bullied by the demands of everyday. Yet, every now and then (and man do I wish it was more) we can see all we have in front of us. We are graced by its touching beauty, as we realize life’s fragility and rapid passage of time. This is a place I would like to linger and a feeling I will remind myself of more often. Children are a gift; the gift is now….
Happy Mother’s Day…Everyday!