What I was making my way toward yesterday, but ran out of the literary gusto to make myself turn these final thoughts into words, is this: as we close winter’s door and open ourselves up to spring, I feel another set of doors opening and closing in my life as well. We are winding our way out of the infancy stage–my family and I. Our youngest child will turn two in a few short months. And while we still have plentiful tantrums and potty training ahead of us–for the third time in less than five years– I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel that comprises early parenthood. I am graduating from the infancy of my journey through motherhood.
As our children spend greater stretches of time playing with each other; delving into shared imaginary games…as five-year-old Ellie occasionally reads to her brothers when mommy’s busy making lunches to send to preschool or making a quick phone call for work, I watch out of the corner of my eye and realize: this feels strikingly how I imagined it would feel, when I would some day coexist with my children, rather than serve their every need on a 24/7 basis. Of course, this revelation, when it hits, is fleetingly brief, as I am summoned once again to tie a shoe, sound out a word on the page, or snuggle a child after nap time.
But the light is there…in little glimpses, on the occasional God-sent day. And even as I relish in these moments–like the ten minutes I sat on the front porch this afternoon, watching my children play in the front yard–I also hear the cautions reverberating within my own mind:
“Don’t forget this moment. Don’t become complacent enough that you forget that funny phrase he said…the adorable outfit she’s wearing…the smell of newly washed, downy, still baby-soft hair of our toddler son…the unabashed claims of love for me that stretches all the way to heaven and back…don’t forget this. Don’t just see the light at the end of the tunnel and walk right past it. Stay in the light for a while. Stay in the light.”