Roots and Wings

I am soaking up the quiet times and the squeals of excitement in these final days of summer; the Sepia afternoons of sunset and the crystal shimmer of the sea; the salty air that permeates my coastal life and the smell of succulent meats on our smoker in the backyard; the laughter that arises from play with our child and the quiet moments of our family together at the end of the day.

These late days of summer have been the sweetest of my life. Be present! Don’t miss these moments. I want to be fully aware and in the moment I am in and fully enjoy the sounds, sights, smells, and feelings all around.

The only constant in life is the inevitability of change. My son’s world is about to explode into the beauty of friends and school and learning, and I am so grateful. These summer days are drawing to a close where his realm of influencers will reach beyond the walls of our home – to teachers and friends. With that naturally comes a mother’s celebration, and a slight, momentary mourning: we will no longer be his everything. But, that is okay. We will always be his loving parents.

We have given him roots, and now we are about to give him his first real set of wings: school days. What an amazing adventure it is to be a parent! I am grateful. And I am actively working on being present.

I hope you are enjoying your summer and wherever you are in life, you are present. Whatever is happening in the ebb and flow, you’re able to know when to establish roots, or when set forth in flight.

Blessings,

J.

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The Days Will Be Gone

The small hand in yours. The bright eyes shining up at you, inquisitive and sensitive. Curious and intriguing.

The questions. The “why this,” “why that” of your daily life. The swordfights. The tea parties. The requests for tickles and snuggles. The cartoons. The jigsaw puzzles. The days of running through sprinklers. The days when you are their world.

They’ll be gone.

The days when you stop a chore or a conversation to smile down at that bright, sweet face and answer a question, even if it’s not a question but an important comment about the swingset that is really a pirate ship!

They’ll be gone.

What every good parent goes through. What every good parent experiences. The fulfilling, yet fleeting days spent with his or her child. The exhausting, yet priceless, days. The fresh and raw feelings that are so new to each grown-up child – adult – who looks back at his or her parent and says, “Ah…yes…thank you so much for loving me¬†this much. I knew but I didn’t really¬†know.” And that older, wiser parent who is now a grandparent experiencing a wonderful blessing from God: life watching your beloved child raise his or her beloved child.

They’ll be gone.

This is the moment we have. This is our time. It is poignant. It is important. You are important. Your parent is important. Your child is important. Keep them close. Stop what you are doing and spend time with that one child. That one parent. That one spouse. That one friend. Today is your day to stop and listen to your child. Today is the day to pick up the phone and call your parent. Today is the day to be quiet and enjoy the sunset with your spouse. Today is the only day.

For someday, these days, well…they’ll be gone.

J.

Sweet Morning Moments

I was up at 4 am to get my workout in. Really, to get started back in a workout routine. After my workout and shower, I was ready for an hour of writing before getting my family up for school and work.

I had my tea made. I had my laptop open to my most recent chapter of my novel, and then I heard it.

The doorknob rattling in surround-sound.

The volume on our baby monitor is up so that I can hear my son if he wakes up and opens his door in the middle of the night. He always closes the door behind him, so I always hear a rattling and shutting, as I heard it at 5 a.m. this morning.

I turned around and saw his near 3 ft. silhouette standing at the end of the hallway and started running toward me. Forgetting the computer, my tea, and writing goals, I knelt down and opened my arms to embrace his morning hug. I turned everything off, sat down on the couch with him, and we watched his nursery rhyme YouTube channels. His new favorite is woodland creatures in a snowy forest singing Jesus Loves Me. We played it on repeat.

I know, very well, there will be a morning when I have hours to write. My boy will be off playing at a friend’s house, off to camp, off to college, so I treasure every moment with him.

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Mac Attack playing at our neighborhood park.

Being an older parent of a toddler has many blessings. I have years under my belt and a different appreciation for life than what I had at twenty. I’m not knocking twenty, but I still had my entire family alive and well at twenty. Now, most of them have passed away. That sort of loss changes you. Yet, with the difficult comes much good. Through all that, now I’m married to the love of my life, and we have a beautiful little boy.

My sweet morning moments: my well-rested son running out of his bedroom in the early morning hours into my arms. Now that’s a great way to start my day!

Gratefully,

J.