The day is drawing near when my little five year old man will start Kindergarten. And our moments together, just he and I, will be gone.
I know that it is a part of life’s ebb and flow and that I am not the only one to weep and wring my hands over their last little bird “leaving the nest” for big kid school.
And it’s not that I didn’t feel sad or a tugging when the girls went off to school. I certainly did.
But…there is something about MY BABY, MY YOUNGEST gaining this independence that I am having a hard time with.
I can almost physically feel the time slip away from me.
And so…I have tried to stop and notice more. I have played and snuggled and let the dishes and laundry pile up these last couple of weeks.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “Once the kids are in school, my house will be clean again!”
But now, I have to stop and ask myself, Did I play enough? Was I there enough? Did I fret too much over housework and chores and dinner prep that I worried away my children’s last few years to be mine and all mine?
Because when I ask these things about Jack, I also have to ask them about McKenna and Caia. The baby years and the toddler years and the preschool years and the lunches with mommy and the morning cartoon snuggles on the couch, they have faded.
And the mommy guilt and heartbreak of time passing far too fast pours in. Floods me with doubt.
And yet, I am sure that I have done the best I could do. I know that every mother out there will have her regrets when the day is done…and whatever we’ve chosen in the past must become something we cannot let our hearts be moored by.
We have to choose to live THIS day…and THIS moment…
And it goes without saying that we will slip and struggle and fall and that is where we ask God to fill in the gaps that we have not. That we simply CAN NOT.
There will be frustrations. There will be the days that we want to pound our heads against the wall and speed up the clock to bedtime…and we will bond and commiserate with others who know exactly how we feel.
But the moments where we CAN find peace and simple joy lying in the everyday and in the monotony that sometimes becomes our life, I hope that, for all mothers, we are able to look past its simpleness…
…and see the beauty.
I hope that we can stop for just a moment and marvel in the ironic depth of the simple life of a child.
I sat on the couch one morning and watched him coloring. His eyes darted back and forth between the TV and the paper as he worked away.
And while he drew, I wrote. And I thank God for the wonder that he brought me through the simplicity of a five year old drawing…
He draws with abandon.
No erasers needed at this stage.
He just draws and colors with markers that cannot be erased, that cannot be undone.
There is confidence in his creating. Neither his own sense of perfection nor the opinions of the outside world hinder him.
“I’m drawing things we all like.”
And I know, in five year old speak, he means “I’m going to add things to my picture that my sisters like too.”
And there it is. In the Crayola-ed fashioning, a My Little Pony, rests next to a monster truck.
It is a tribute to his sisters set in the midst of his very five year old boy world.
And that’s when I really see it…
He has made space in his world for sacrifice.
In his simple act of giving a portion of this paper, he has given a precious little part of his world for people other than himself….though they may never see it or appreciate it.
It was in his heart that pure, unsoiled love poured out on paper in the form of mythical ponies.
And all because he knew what two other little people liked.
All because he took the time to notice.
And all because he chose to express it.
He is wise, that little one.
May I be more like him.