I’m getting older. Like the kind of getting older when you look down at your hands and they mirror back crevices and veins you swear weren’t there the day before. The kind of getting older when you catch a glimpse at your reflection and start (really asking) ‘am I getting to that point when long hair looks more haggish then hip?’ (Not that I aimed for hip. More like: what takes two seconds and doesn’t embarrass the neighbors.)
But you get where I’m going.
I’m writing about time, the awareness of it, watching your “little” girl mature in nano-seconds and you’re still remembering “goo-goo-ga-ga“.
Not because you aren’t smart and can’t see what’s in front of your face. But because motherhood and clocks get warped the minute they’re born. Am I sleeping or am I awake? Am I feeding her or did I just feed her? And when was the last time I showered? I can’t remember. Do I care? No. Yes. No. Maybe. Okay, not really. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I hoped this would change…with time. (Pun intended). But of course it didn’t. I still prefer “non-binding” clothes and completely understand, now, my grandmother’s preference for polyester pants.
I’ll skip the polyester part, but those elastic bands…? Who are we kidding. We call them “Yoga pants.”
She’d laugh if she saw me now and tell me I’m just fancying up what she’s known all along: a mother needs to breathe.
Boy isn’t that true.
Especially in moments I call “the middle” or invisible “parentheses.”
I’m writing about the space specifically between what was and what will be.
Anticipation that offers a wide array of opportunity for responding.
They can freak out, or fill up your Soul with a chance to recognize, remember, plan and prepare. Or some quasi-discernible blend of both.
Think of planting a garden. We purchase the seeds, prepare the soil, tend to it with light, water and love…and we wait.
While we wait we anticipate hope of good. Whether food, flower or tree.
Then comes an unexpected hail storm and freezing temperatures. Also known as disappointment, or devastation, or despair. Or all three (and then some.)
There was no bounty.
Our children weren’t what we ‘hoped’ for.
The probationary period for your new job didn’t work out.
A loved one never comes home.
And the space opening up in front of you does a 180. Sun gone, clouds cover light. We’re in a hard place.
Now the unknown ‘parentheses’ presented before us has an outcome we’re sure of. We decide we’ve had enough of hoping for the best. “Middle moments” are for the birds and we’ll teach our children something different.
Life is hard.
Life is pain.
Life is a let down – most of the time.
I don’t want to go there. I might live in the Granite State but that doesn’t have to resemble my heart. In fact I love it when I see growth pushing through stone.
Mother Nature knows.
Let’s tell our children that leaning towards Cynicism after disappointments rise and fall over and over is completely understandable.
We’ve been there. We can empathize.
Let’s also tell them we understand the small strange seed of Hope looks ridiculous against a mountain of experienced hurt and if we were to nurture Joy and Optimism we’d look foolish to some.
Let’s tell them Middle Moments are times we can lift up a prayer of thanksgiving for remembering the good things we’ve known and release the hurts of things that caused us pain.
Because it’s worth it. And do-able. And better in the long run.
Let’s create a life for them that holds Middle Moments in our arms, first, so we can provide the modeling and mirroring necessary for their own resilient hearts.
Because the world needs heart, over machine, more than ever.
We’ve learned such hard lessons in our journey’s. We’ve licked our wounds, bandaged up broken places and made private promises never to go, do, or experience ‘that’ again.
And we’ve learned we can break our own promises.
We are still loved.
We are all, still, so deeply Loved.
And so, as the school year ends for many of our children, and summer awaits, Sedona-Grace and I send, from the north country, lots of wildflowers, sunshine, clean air, quality time as a family and hope for memory making you can cherish for a lifetime.