Saturday, April 16, 2011

Their hands are still small, and reach for hers

The signs are there when she sees them. Her children choosing to read books on a long car ride, instead of constant chatter. The muscles in her daughter's small calves, her long legs strong enough to do a 1 1/2 mile hike. Her son opening a door for her, an experiment in manly manners that she hopes will stick.

The car seats will find new homes; friends with younger children. The sandbox is moving out. The beat-up play structure is next. Plans for an active outdoor space - a trampoline, a large punching bag, over sized pillows to jump on.

Her daughter can read aloud now, intent on each word, frustration flaring if she doesn't grasp it at once. She tries to encourage her to take it in smaller syllables, sounding them out. Hard for her girl who likes to achieve...quickly.

Her son comes up to her chest, more than half her height. He's not tall, but neither is she. He shies away from hard work, which scares her a bit. Visions of adolescence, a handful of years ahead, and her failings, if he doesn't get the value in hard work.

Winter clothes divided between those that will not see another season, and those that will. Donations, throw-aways, one treasured shirt saved. Spring clothes taken out of storage bins, the bright colors welcoming in their newness.

Her son, the little rooster, sleeps in later now. Yet, still up with the sun. His sister with the gift of deep sleep. She, not waking when he chats himself to sleep, nor when he wakes up with the gift of gab in the light of a new day.

In her quest and burning desire to have a family, she did not understand that having children is a young person's game. The wisdom of age stretches...yet, the energy of youth cannot be overstated. She hopes her children will not remember her as tired, because often she is...

Their hands are still small, and reach for hers. Her lap still big enough, if their heads are tucked into the side of her neck. Bedtime not complete without being tucked-in, a lullaby song...trailing off. Their soft cheeks forever emblazoned on her lips...

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  1. good gods that made me weep, it is a young woman's game but us old women have a lot to offer too, the youngesters may have the energy but we have the wisdom and appreciation just as you describe above, thank you!

    Boliath xx

  2. Wonderful post, JCK. You always manage to capture the most touching parenting insights.

    Sadly... realistically... I'm pretty sure my kids will remember me as tired. I just hope they manage to remember me with a smile on my face every now and again. Because lately? Three teens to keep in line? Scowls abound.

  3. This was lovely. Such a picture of your changing children.

    I have often wondered if I would be as tired as I am now if I was just having kids--I cannot tell you how incredibly much energy I had when my kids (and I) were young. Did the kids wear me out or is it just the years?

    My best friend from 6th grade that I've recently reunited with has children that are 6 and 9--she's sure it is the years and not the kids.

  4. The game is almost up but yet lately I've been revisiting that little girl we didn't have in my mind and wondering what if...

    Love your words, Jennifer.

  5. even younger mothers get tired. kids are exhausting.

    but so worth it.

    won't you be so glad to have blog entries like this to look back on when they no longer reach for your hand, no longer sit in your lap?

  6. so sweet. each stage has it's wonders and it's challenges.


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