One night when you go, as you always have and always will, in to check on your children while they sleep, to admire your best work , your heart stops. Their bodies go on forever, maybe a huge foot is hanging over the side for cool air, they may look beautiful one night, and a little teenage- funny looking the next, but they are enormous. It stops you in your tracks.
(This was previously published here on October 21st, 2010, but I am resubmitting in honour of my daughter’s 17th birthday which is today. I caught up with an old and dear friend last week who said – she so loved this post~which I had forgotten about~ that her husband printed it and framed it for her birthday. It hangs in their home. That makes me soar. I hope it speaks to you the way it spoke to her)
One day they are saying ‘tell me a story’ and then ‘ Mom, I have to tell you a story” .
One day they say “pick me up” and then they say “pick me up ?”.
One day you are teaching them about sharing, the next it is about not sharing too much.
One day you will say to them ‘try again, it is not your best work’ and one day they will turn to you and say ‘try again, Mom, it is not your best work.’
One day it is “no more playing, time for bed” then suddenly it is ” no more working. Let’s play.”
One day your laundry basket is all pastel colours like a beautiful bowl of mints. The next day it is the colour of dead leaves; brown, grey, black.
One day you think they are adorable, beautiful enough to eat, you can’t keep your eyes,
hands or kissy lips off them. The next day you remind yourself that you have not really touched them and hugged them well in a while and you make a mental note to do so.
One day you put them down because they are too heavy. One day the chair creaks when they are on your lap, bedroom doors slowly close, naked bodies are hidden and secrets are kept.
One day you will be all their days, all their influence, and you will revel in how you can protect them. Then slowly -ever so slowly- you will turn them over to the world, and hope it is still a good place to raise them.
One day – every day if you pay attention- you will be excited and inspired by the goodness and the badness that they are, the courage they show, the beauty that is them and they will be raising you too in a way that is gorgeous and unexpected.
One day their little boots will be big and it will be better than ok because every thing that is given up is replaced by a new and wonderful thing.