Friday, January 4, 2013

The Pending

A silver mesh tray holds half-a-tree worth of school pages.  Spelling tests with stars above the bonus words.  Math sheets pondering the universal question, "How many apples will Max have all together?" Homework packets stapled together with happy faces and proud percentages.  

What to keep and what to toss?

A green enamel bucket filled with mementos of moments passed.  Thank you cards for thoughtfulness lived out in tangible actions.  Olympic rings, wired and super-glued together, plucked from a birthday cake.  An original watercolor, complete with pink globs, silver blobs and mysterious lime green smudges.

What to toss and what to keep?

One level up, nestled behind a sliding closet door, a plastic tub sits, filled to overflowing with memories.  The lid lays propped against the wall, no match for the trove of treasures.  Old calendars filled with unforgettable dates.  Baby blankets rubbed to smithereens.  T-shirts from their first days of kindergarten, well-worn and well-faded.  Snippets and snapshots, captured and secreted away to protect against the relentless passage of time.

Time that marches with both alacrity and sluggishness.  Some stages and seasons are over in the blink of an eye leaving me to reel and marvel, holding my head and wondering how my baby boy came to look me straight in the eye.  While at other times, I find myself entrenched in days that drag by with painful slowness, each tick of the clock one step closer to the bliss of bedtime.  

My mother's words resonate within my mothering heart, "The fastest, slowest days of your life."

Each essay written in hesitant cursive, each book report complete with crayon renderings of climactic scenes, each handmade card covered with crooked hearts and shimmering stickers is proof that my children are growing from little people into big people.  (Or at least bigger than they were.)  And each fragment packed away in plastic bags and manila envelopes is my mommy-attempt to hold on to them, just as they are at this exact moment - ages 4, 6, 9 and 10.

Those remnants, however, are only shadows.  And life is not lived in the shadows.  As much as I wish I could hold on to my babies, capture their smallness and remember their littleness, I wish even more to celebrate their shining lives!  Revel in the gloriousness of young lives overflowing with sparkling hopes, extraordinary promises and dazzling dreams!

And so stumbling and bumbling, I learn unfamiliar steps to a new and challenging dance, holding to the past, while being freshly aware of the pending.  Of the undiscovered.  Of the yet to be experienced.  Of the unknown.

And I make room in my closet for another bin ... for all their trophies and triumphs and trinkets.  

Or perhaps wish for a magic wand to reducio these treasures, shrinking them small enough to keep them all in a locket, close to my heart.


Linking up with Red Writing Hood this week - 500 word-limit with the inspiration of the word Wish and this song, Past and Pending.  One line in particular stood out to me, "Held to the past too aware of the pending".

1 comment:

  1. Okay, tears threaten to fall as I read this...perhaps one of the most heart tugging you wrote. A tribute to mommas everywhere as their babes grow and we don't want them to and then of course we do...push and pull, huh? And my babes are 3 and 5 this month and it is killing me. Love your honesty and beautiful take on pending! Love you and feel your ache and joy my friend.


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