Thursday, August 7, 2014
The Little Season.
I was sitting on the living room floor yesterday, surrounded by two loads of laundry, folding and stacking, folding and stacking. I thought about the little socks I was matching and the little shorts I was folding, and the little sweaters I was putting on little hangers. Little. And that's the season of our life right now, little things for little people.
And the other day I was at Costco a grandmotherly woman approached me and said, "Honey, your family is beautiful. Hold onto these days- they go so fast, and in my experience, these are the ones you'll miss the most." Oh. So there I was, crying in the middle of an aisle full of oversized stuffed bears and socks in packs of 50, trying to hold it together while I watched a white-haired woman shuffle away, turning around once to give me a wink, in a very fairy godmother (of perspective) kind of way.
We finished shopping, I maneuvered that big cart up to the checkout, fished my Costco card out of the bottomless pit that is my bag, and paid for our diapers and raspberries (Costco priorities in our world). I pushed that big cart out into the even bigger parking lot, Henry saying "Faster! Faster!" Charlie laughing with his mouth open so wide, the sun shining down, glinting off the corners of that almost too-shiny cart, and I thought of the advice that woman had just given me.
Over the past four years I feel like I've learned so much about myself and about life. Never figuring it out of course, but sometimes, on the luckiest of days, it feels like I've flipped over a puzzle piece I didn't even know was overturned, and found its place among the rest of the pieces that now make sense. All the rest are strewn about, but that piece, that one lone piece, it has a place.
I felt that way when I was pushing that cart through that hot parking lot, noticing the way Charlie's blonde wispy hair would lift with every breeze, and Henry's brown eyes would crinkle up whenever he would turn to his brother and smile. It was no more than a 45 second push to the car but between that woman's advice and taking a moment to appreciate every little bit of every little thing in that little bitty moment, a puzzle piece flipped itself over and slid right in.
And then yesterday while doing laundry I had so many thoughts about this season we are in. The season of tiny things and laughing children and a house that never seems to be truly quiet. This is the season of growing our family. Of little babies sprouting into bigger people, teaching them everything we know, learning from everything they are. One day when Hank and I have done this job and our children are grown up, the lady from Costco is exactly right, I'm sure these are the days we will miss the most. The little season of little things.
So I kept folding, thoughts going around and around. Feeling sad. Happy. Bittersweet really, as I always say when talking about time passing and children growing. One foot in the excitement of tomorrow, the second trailing behind just a bit, lingering for a moment in the afterglow of everywhere we've been.
So whatever you are, be a good one, okay? Whatever season you're in, be there and be so present. One baby is almost four, one baby is almost one, and you'll never, ever be here again. Telling this to myself amidst the tiny socks and little shorts and small, small sweaters, willing myself to remember it all and take it all in, with every fold and stack, fold and stack.